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Niels Werner Adelman-Larsen

Rock and Pop


Venues
Acoustic and Architectural Design

Rock and Pop Venues

Niels Werner Adelman-Larsen

Rock and Pop Venues


Acoustic and Architectural Design

13

Niels Werner Adelman-Larsen


Flex Acoustics
Kongens Lyngby
Denmark

ISBN 978-3-642-45235-2
ISBN 978-3-642-45236-9 (eBook)
DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-45236-9
Springer Heidelberg New York Dordrecht London
Library of Congress Control Number: 2014931753
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014
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Preface

My interest in acoustics for performance spaces originates from some 1,200 concerts as a former rock and jazz drummer and a B.Sc. in mechanical engineering right after high school. While still touring about 80 concerts a year I took a
few courses in acoustics at the Technical University of Denmark. I was immediately drawn into the field and my master thesis is in many ways basis of this very
book. Ironically, after the defence I got kicked out of the band! Then I started to
rather design the music halls than play in there. The book, which I was asked to
write already in 2008, is dedicated to my engineer and freedom-fighter father,
KnudW.Larsen, for passing on to me a sense of courageousness and curiosity as
well as to my musical mother Therese Adelman Larsen who gave me the loving
ballast needed to employ these attributes.
The 9 week 2010 tour around Europe, during which the 55 music halls presented in this book were measured, was financed by: d&b audiotechnik, Flex
Acoustics, Oticon Fonden, Cowi Fonden, Brdrene Hartmanns Fond.
Apart from these companies and foundations the author would like to thank (in
random order): all the great people in the halls visited who opened their doors and
made me feel welcome; my friend Dr. Schnips Teis Schnipper, Leo L. Beranek,
Michael Barron for inspiring research, illustrations etc., Brd Stfringsdal, Jens
Jrgen Dammerud, Magne Sklevig, Rasmus Rosenberg, Christoph Baumann,
Finn Jacobsen, Hugo Fastl, Eric R. Thompson, Jan Voetmann, Jens Holger Rindel,
Per Brel, Cheol-Ho Jeong and Jens Cubick for their direct and profound contributions. You have made this book better. Special thanks to the great crew at d&b
audiotechnik. Many more, friends and family (you know who you are), have supported me during this time toothank you!

Contents

1 Principles of Acoustics and Hearing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1


Sound Propagation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Sound in Rooms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Human Hearing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Acoustic Defects: Echo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Scattering. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Acoustic Vocal Sound. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Absorber Types. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Audience Absorption. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Air Absorption. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Critical Distance and Level of Reverberation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Reverberation Time Design. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Background Noise. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Sound Levels and Amplified Events. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
2 Auditorium Acoustics: Terms, Language, and Concepts. . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Objective Parameters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
EDT, Reverberation Time, Liveliness, and Reverberance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
C80, D50, Early Reflections, Clarity, and Intimacy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
LF, Envelopment, and Lateral Reflections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
G, Strength, and Room Gain. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Bass Ratio, Warmth, and Bass Response . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
ST, Support, and Ensemble. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
3 Reinforcement of Sound Sources. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
The Sound of a Rock Band. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Providing Amplified Direct Sound from Loudspeakers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Single Point Sources. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Virtual Point Sources. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Directional Subwoofer Arrays. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Split Mono Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Line Arrays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

vii

viii

Contents

4 Assessments of 20 Halls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Amager Bio. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Forbrndingen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Godset. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Lille VEGA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Loppen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
Magasinet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Palletten. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Pumpehuset. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
Rytmeposten. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
Musikhuzet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Skren. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
Slagelse Musikhus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
Stars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86
Store VEGA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Snderborghus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
Tobakken. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
Torvehallerne. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
Train . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
Viften. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
Voxhall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108
5 Recommended Acoustics for Pop and Rock Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
The Basis of the Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
Results of the Interviews. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
The First Page of the Questionnaire. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
PA System Versus Omnidirectional Source Measurements. . . . . . . . 116
General Ratings of the Halls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
Musicians Preferences. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
Sound Engineers Preference. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
Debate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
Spectral Analysis of Surveyed Data. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
Recommended Reverberation Time for a Given Hall Volume. . . . . . 125
Acceptable Tolerances of T30 in Pop Rock Venues. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
Suitable Reverberation Times in Larger Halls and Arenas . . . . . . . . 128
6 Design Principles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
Hall Size . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130
Hall Shape. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132
Stage and Its Surroundings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133
Surface Materials. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135
Balconies and Overhangs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137
Floor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137
Stage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138

Contents

ix

Seating. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138
Platforms. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
Sound Insulation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
Interior Noise Sources. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
Multipurpose Halls. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140
Music Schools. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142
7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts. . . . . . . . 143
Ancienne Belgique (AB). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
LAeronef . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151
Alcatraz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157
Apolo La [2] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163
Apolo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168
Astra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174
Bikini. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179
Cavern. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185
La Cooprative de Mai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192
Le Chabada. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 197
Cirkus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203
Le Confort Moderne. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209
Debaser Medis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 214
Elyse Montmartre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220
Festhalle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 226
Forest National . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233
Globen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 238
Grosse Freiheit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 243
Hallenstadion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249
HMV Hammersmith Apollo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 253
Heineken Music Hall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 261
Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266
Jyske Bank BOXEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 271
Kaiser Keller. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 276
Live Music Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 280
LKA/Langhorn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 286
Mediolanum Forum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 292
MelkwegThe Max. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 297
MEN Arena. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 303
Nosturi. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 309
O2 Berlin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 315
O2 World Hamburg . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 321
O2 London. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 325
O13 Tilburg. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331
Olympia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 337
Oslo Spektrum Arena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 343

Contents

Palau Sant Jordi. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 348


Paradiso. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 353
Porsche Arena. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360
Rote Fabrik, Aktionshalle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 365
Rote Fabrik Clubraum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 371
Rockefeller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 376
Rockhal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 381
Razzmatazz 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 386
Razzmatazz 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 391
Sala Barcelona92/Sant Jordi Club. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 396
Scala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 400
Tunnel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 406
Vega . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 412
Wembley Arena. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 419
Werk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 425
Zeche. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 430
Zeche Carl Kaue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 435
Znith ParisLa Villette. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 440
Zenith Strasbourg . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 446
Appendix A: Measurements of the 55 Venues Presented
in the Gallery in Chapter 7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 453
Appendix B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 463
Appendix C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 467
Appendix D: Two Sound Engineers Statements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 469

Introduction

Please imagine an outdoor rock concert. Visualize a flat field, a stage with a
band, a crowd listening to the music mainly coming from PA speakers placed at
the stage front. Thats a rock concert without any room acoustics. Imagine then a
huge box being placed around the whole eventa hall. Surely the whole atmosphere changes, but what effect should we allow it to have on the sound? Should
the inside surfaces of the building reflect or absorb the sound? How much and at
what frequencies?
What is good acoustics? The present book answers this question with regards
to pop and rock music performances on the basis of the authors research that has
been conducted in the field. The knowledge gathered origins from studies based on
interviews with musicians and sound engineers.
Of course such a terminology as good acoustics only makes sense when
referring to the use of a particular room. The acoustical demands of a room to be
filled by children in a kindergarten must be very different from those favoring a
musical choir. The noise aspect of room acoustics is employed in factories, offices
and institutions where the sound is regarded largely as unwanted or simply too
loud and therefore to be attenuated by acoustical means. Other sounds, in other
rooms, with other purposes, are indeed wanted and must be affected by the acoustics of the room in a positive and enhancing way. This desired sound contains a
message that must come across to the listener. The room must therefore carry, or
transfer, this message to the receiving persons, such as an audience, in a favorable
way. But preferably, also the person sending the message, such as a speaker or
a musician, should be content with the way the room affects the sound as he or
she perceives it. A musician and his/her performance can certainly be negatively
affected by undesirable acoustics.
For pop and rock acoustics, in halls larger than club-size, acoustic absorptive materials are not used to correct the sound level of the music. The level is
predominantly controlled by the sound engineer sliding faders on the mixer
boards. The frequency content of the music that meets the ears of the audience
origins of course from the instruments, and is then controlled and enhanced by
the sound engineer by electronic equalization means etc. However, part of the
sound perceived by the audience, does not come directly from the loudspeakers,
but has bounced off of surfaces in the room first. Acoustic absorption should predominantly be employed to control the speed by which these sound reflections
xi

xii

Introduction

decaythe so called reverberationof the roomand to shape the frequency


content of these reflections.
Pop and rock concerts are unique by the fact that they are heavily depending
on amplification of the sound that the band produces. A significant ingredient in
the music is often a highly amplified and well-articulated bass line supported by
a more or less syncopated, staccato of nature, bass drum rhythm. The precise timing of both, down to few hundreds of a second, is what professional orchestras are
depending on in order to make hard grooving music, not only satisfactory for the
orchestra itself but also, most notably, to the audience. Many other instruments are
active in the bass frequency domain. The rooms acoustics should enable for this
message to be transmitted to the audience with a high degree of intelligibility. It is
evident that if a hall allows the bass tones to last for long time, then this rhythmic
backbone of that type of music is easily lost. The start and stop of bass sounds are
rather converted into a long, dull, legato continuum that can hardly be identified as
rhythmic by performers or audience. What was expected to be a musical experience is transformed into sound with little sense sometimes close to noise.
Unlike speech the bass level at rock concerts cannot simply be turned down in
the overall mix in the PA speakers in order to achieve intelligibility. Then it would
not be perceived as a pop or rock concert any longer. Loud bass sound is just as
well a prerequisite of amplified music. It is part of the excitement of the performance and simply sounds right. Since the low frequency sound cannot really be
aimed or directed at the audience like higher frequency sound, and the audience
do not absorb nearly as much bass as higher pitched tones, the largest share of the
audience will suffer from the legato-like bass sound if the low frequency sound
is not very well controlled and not allowed to last too long. This undefined reverberant sound will partly shadow for, or partially mask, the defined, direct bass
and higher frequency sound, significantly reducing the understanding of the content of the music. While the level of the direct loudspeaker-based sound decreases
with distance, the reflected and later arriving sounds remain more or less constant
throughout the venue. This is one reason why considerations regarding the shape
of a room are critical in early phases of the design process of a pop and rock venue
in order to achieve perfection.
On stage the musicians use open monitor speakers or in-ear monitoring systems
to hear themselves and their colleagues. The audience listens to the music mainly
through PA speakers operated by a sound engineer. These two sound systems
depend on each other to some extend and on the acoustics in the two environments
of stage and audience area.
So what is good acoustics for such concerts?and according to who? Who
should determine this? The audience? The musicians? The sound engineer? Do the
three groups agree on what kind of room acoustics they can accept and maybe
even find recommendable? The sound engineers of course want for the audiences
to get value for money and experience the incredible ambience and moods of a
concert. They feel obligated to present the audience with a clean and transparent
sound. This can lead them to ask for an acoustically very dead stage-area that does
not allow the unprocessed sound from instruments and monitor speakers to be

Introduction

xiii

reflected to the audience or irrelevant microphones on stage. However, this may


contradict the needs of the musicians and the audience.
As we shall see, the investigations among people attending thousands ofpop
and rock performances lead us to understand that appropriate acoustics for
popand rock, rather than facilitate only a high fidelity sound experience, also shall
support the concert as a social event where people meet to obtain a sensation of
being together and share an experience in sound. Not only audiences in between
but also musicians who need to be involved and therefor to be in the same acoustic
climate as their audience. The musicians too want to experience togetherness with
their audience as long as they are able to clearly hear what music they are creating
for themselves as individuals and as a group. And that cannot be obtained through
use of monitors alone but also requires some reflections from stage surroundings
as well as from the space of the audience.
Which acoustics will fulfill these different demands? And how is rock intelligibility and togetherness achieved at the same time? What effects must certainly
be avoided? Strangely, before the research paper suitable reverberation times for
halls for rock and pop music from 2010 by the author, no proper research had
been carried out in the field. Yes, acoustics for pop and rock is regarded a science.
It must, more specifically, be treated as the science of quantifying the fine sensations of people as encountered in the ecstatic moments at pop and rock concerts around the Globe. And these sensations must, through an understanding of
sound and general room acoustics, be translated into practical recommendations
for the building of venues. That is precisely what this book does. The book is
easily understood and is equally informative for sound engineers, rock aficionados as well as acoustic consultants and architects who are often, at the end of the
day, the ones responsible for the acoustics in new and renovated venues. There are
chapters on the basics of sound and room acoustics, the actual recommendations
resulting from research as well as specific comments on 20 rock venues and why
they received the ratings they did from musicians and sound engineers. As further
examples 55 European venues, some of them being world famous, from tiny basements to enormous arenas, are presented with acoustic measurement results, architectural drawings and photos. It is the hope of the author that it will lead to even
better musical experiences.

Endorsements

Acoustics are important within pop and rock venues to ensure a great experience
for audiences and performers. This book fills an important gap of knowledge on
the acoustics of venues. It will be of value to sound engineers as well as building
owners and operators and building design professionals.
Rob Harris, Arup Acoustics
Niels' efforts to gather and analyse data and make this available for others, is
highly appreciated and will lead to better sounding concerts in future. The book
presents among other things data on the acoustical qualities of many existing venues including information on the crucial low frequencies. This is important knowledge for future research, improvement of existing halls and design of new venues.
Designing the acoustics for halls for amplified music takes some knowledge that
was not written in books prior to this one.
Martijn Vercammen, Peutz
Everybody thinks they know about acoustics, very few people actually do. Books
like this can and should make a difference, and will make the world a better
sounding place. For anybody who cares about what they hear in a live setting, its
essential reading.
Simon Honywill, Live Sound Engineer for Jeff Waynes Musical Version of the
War of The Worlds, Katherine Jenkins, Chris Rea, Jose Carreras etc.
For me, the acoustics of a room are of primary concern for a concert, secondary
only to the quality of the musicians and their instruments. Amplified music is
much harder to manage in spaces with longer reverberation times, especially at
faster tempos and with denser instrumentation. The loss of definition in the bass
frequencies really blurs the groove and feeling of music that depends on amplified
bass and drums.
Ben Surman, FOH Engineer for Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield and many
others, USA.

xv

Chapter 1

Principles of Acoustics and Hearing

What is a sound wave? A visual interpretation can be obtained by imagining the


membrane of a speaker that moves back and forth. Air molecules immediately
next to the speaker will co-oscillate with the speaker. These air molecules will
push and pull their neighbors, who in turn will push and pull their neighbors, and
so on, forming a longitudinal wave of oscillating molecules. This is in essence a
sound wave: tiny pockets of air, oscillating around an equilibrium position, causing small air pressure variations imposed on the static air pressure. A sound wave
travels with a speed of 343m/s in air at 20C whereas in solids and fluids the
speed is faster and the total distance it can travel is longer, mainly due to the
higher density of molecules.
The magnitude of the wave determines the amplitude of the sound given by a
pressure maximum and a pressure minimum as graphically interpreted in Fig.1.1.
Because the human ear is capable of detecting sounds levels ranging from 1 unit
to sounds one million times louder, the decibel (dB) scale has been introduced.
Named after Alexander Graham Bell (18771922) the decibel is a logarithmic unit
and overcomes thereby the handling of very large numbers. The decibel is used to
measure sound levels and of course therefore also sound level differences.
The quietest sound that the human ear can detect is about 0dB and the least
noticeable difference is about 1dB. Doubling the number of bass players in a symphonic orchestra will increase the sound level by 3dB, however, a double brick
wall will cause an isolation of the sound pressure of approximately 55dB. The
sound level in the open drops by 6dB per doubling of distance. A symphony
orchestra produces only approximately 2.5W of acoustic power when playing fortissimo (very loud). The dynamic range of a symphony orchestra is as much as
70dB, that of a pop and rock band considerably less, whereas jazz performances
can span over a large dynamic interval from ppp to fff, in musical terms, as well.
The decibel is hence based on a ratio and is therefore not a unit like a meter or
a watt. In order to express the absolute value of a sound pressure the ratio is taken
between a given level and a reference level being 2.107 mbar or 20 Pa corresponding roughly to the lowest audible sound at 1,000Hz.

N. W. Adelman-Larsen, Rock and Pop Venues, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-45236-9_1,


Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

1 Principles of Acoustics and Hearing

Fig.1.1Graphic representation of a pure tone. One period equals the wavelength of the tone

Frequency, f, and wavelength, , are two parameters expressing a wave. In, for
instance, musical tones, the wavelength equals one period of the sound wave implying that the shape of the wave is periodic. The distance between pressure maxima
(or minima) in the sound wave is the wavelength. The wave travels with the speed
of sound c, and the three parameters interrelate as expressed by the equation

c = f

(1.1)

which is in good agreement with ones intuitive understanding: the shorter the
wave, the more often will one pass a certain point in as much as all waves pass
with a constant speed, the speed of sound. The unit of frequency is s1 (cycles/s)
which is written as Hertz, Hz, named after Heinrich Rudolf Hertz (18571894).
The wavelength unit is meters.
A pure tone has a single frequency associated with it. Musical instruments
as well as the human voice, however, produce a number of overtones creating a
unique sound where the lowest tone normally determines the pitch. A doubling of
frequency corresponds to an octave in musical terms. Acoustic measurements are
traditionally often made over octave intervals with center frequencies being: 63,
125, 250, 500, 1,000Hz, and so on.
Many instruments depend on resonance in order to create their sound. The
length and diameter of a flute, the volume of a drum and the tension of its head,
and the body volume of an acoustic guitar are examples of resonators and ways to
achieve a particular resonance frequency. But in amplified music, electric instruments are often used and the vibration of a string on an electric bass or guitar,
for example, is picked up and amplified by the use of a transducer and amplifiers.
The lowest note is called the fundamental frequency (Fig.1.2) and the overtones
are referred to as harmonics of the instrument. The A above middle C on a piano
is often tuned to 440Hz and the lowest E string on an acoustic or electric bass is
about 41Hz. The shapes of such complex waves are still close to periodic. The
overtones that create the spectrum of the instrument and thereby its characteristic
sound together with the sound created where the hand, stick, bow, or another tool
touches the instrument, in many cases extend all the way to the highest sound possible for the human ear to hear above 1520kHz.

Sound Propagation

Fig.1.2Fundamental
frequencies of different
instruments used in pop
androck music

Sound Propagation
Sound rarely propagates in a uniform pattern away from the sound source. The
pattern by which sound is distributed is dependent on, among other things, the frequency produced. Such patterns can be drawn for each frequency band and are
called directivity patterns.
Sound propagates in its simplest form outdoor in the open, where the waves are
not affected by any obstacles. Without reflections from walls or ceiling the unamplified human voice is capable of reaching approximately at least 50m, which is
also the longest distance from a performer to a listener in, for instance, the ancient
Greek theatres. In these theatres, though, the proscenium walls behind the performers reflect the part of the performers sound that propagates away from the
audience to be redirected towards the audience permitting a higher sound level for
the performer and audience.
Indoors, the level of the direct sound of course decreases farther away from
the sound source. From pop and rock concerts, most of us have experienced being
placed behind taller audience members standing in front of us blocking us visually.
Actually we are also blocked from the direct sound if the placement of the sound
system does not compensate for this by being placed high enough or if the floor is
not sloped.
Only frequencies with wavelengths comparable to the size of the obstacle in
front or smaller are blocked because large wavelengths bend around obstacles
of inferior size. This phenomenon is called diffraction (Fig.1.3). The obstacle
is simply being surrounded by lower frequency sound. Likewise, it takes a very
large and heavy object such as a concrete wall to reflect a low-frequency sound
precisely. When the reflecting surface is large compared to the wavelength of an
incoming sound wave, the sound will be reflected just like light in a mirror. This is
called specular reflection.

1 Principles of Acoustics and Hearing

Fig.1.3Sound waves with


larger wavelengths bend
around smaller objects and
higher frequency sounds are
blocked

Fig.1.4The reflected sound


will be affected differently
depending on the shape of the
boundary the incoming sound
wave meets

As light spreads scattered by a matte white piece of paper, sound can also be
scattered more or less universally out in all directions from the scattering surface.
The term diffusing surface is also used to account for the same effect and should
not be confused with the diffuse sound field discussed later. Scattering is a very
important property that is used extensively in auditorium design.
Conversely, black matte paper will not let any light get away, and in the same
way, for instance, a thick layer of mineral wool will absorb incoming sound. Any
building material, and the way it is mounted, will determine how much sound it
absorbs and reflects and at which frequencies it does so.
Sound is reflected in different ways depending on its frequency and the
shape of the boundary it meets. At mid and high frequencies sound waves can
be considered as rays or beams, and the incoming angle of the wave is equal to
the angle at which it bounces away from the boundary, very similar to a billiard
ball. This situation with a plane boundary is sketched in the middle drawing of
Fig.1.4. If the surface is convex, however, the beam will be scattered, whereas
a concave surface will lead to a situation where the sound is reflected from several places on the surface back to the listeners ear with small time differences.
This causes a so-called focusing effect, highly disruptive for the intelligibility
of the sound.

Sound in Rooms

Fig.1.5Direct sound and first reflections from various surfaces in a room


Fig.1.6Reflectogram
indicating how sound
reflections soon multiply
into reverberation

Sound in Rooms
Soon after the direct sound arrives at the listener, a series of early reflections follows from the side walls, ceiling, and so on (Fig.1.5). This sound evidently will
arrive later at the listener because it travels longer. The initial sound wave can
spread in many directions; it hits numerous surfaces in the room and soon multiplies
into hundreds of reflections. The later sound arriving after about 0.1s (depending on hall size, etc.) is called the reverberant sound or simply reverberation.
The characteristic sound at a given location in any hall is thus a result of thousands of reflections and where, at which frequencies, and to what degree they are
reflected, scattered, or absorbed. Luckily the human hearing system is capable of
distinguishing subtle differences and acknowledging the unique quality of different halls.
A diagram showing the amplitude of reflections versus time is called the
impulse response or a reflectogram (Fig.1.6). The term impulse response can
also mean an actual recording of the rooms response to a sound.
Any enclosed space has normal modes given by its dimensions. These modes
are also referred to as the standing waves of the room when it is exposed to sound.
The room modes are responsible for there being places in the room where a given
frequency is louder than in other places of the room.

1 Principles of Acoustics and Hearing

For a rectangular room with dimensions lx, ly, lz it can be shown that the modes,
also called natural frequencies, are

f l,m,n

c
=
2

 
 2  2  21
2
m
n
+
+
lx
ly
lz

(1.2)

where , m, and n are integers that indicate the number of nodal planes perpendicular to the x-, y-, and z-axes, the three dimensions of the room. They are, for example,
[1, 0, 1] or [7, 4, 3] or any other integers. The important point here is that the natural frequencies are given by the room dimensions. This is also true in odd-sized
rooms whose natural frequencies can be calculated by use of computer programs.
It can be proven that the density of natural frequencies is proportional to the
frequency squared, f2, indicating that at higher frequencies the density is high, in
fact so high that the modes can be regarded as a continuum. Likewise the size of
the room plays a role and in small rooms the modes are very separated indeed
at low frequencies, leading to severe colorations of the sound at certain frequencies.
Such colorations will be even bigger if the room dimensions are a low integer
multiple of one another because the modal frequencies will then coincide. So at
higher frequencies, the sound energy at a given frequency is most likely more uniformly distributed in the room. It is said that the sound field is more diffuse at
these higher frequencies.
In any room with a continuous (stationary) sound source, the sound field will
be formed by standing waves. The decay of sound from the standing waves at
the time right after a sound source has stopped, is one feature of reverberation.
But reverberation can occur without standing waves; think of a hand clap in a
room. There will be reverberation because of hundreds of echoes repeated soon
after one another, but standing waves will not have had time to build up. The same
thing happens in a forest: a sudden percussive sound creates a reverb because of
reflections from the many trees, but the sound waves would propagate or run,
probably not stand.
It is easy to understand intuitively that the more the sound reflections hit some
sound-absorptive surface, the faster the sound dies out in a given room. And likewise: the bigger the room is, the longer a reverberation. The time it takes for the
sound in a room to attenuate 60dB is called the reverberation time of the room.
Despite many advances in acoustics over the latest decades this remains the single most important parameter in room acoustics. It is essential to note that the
reverberation time is usually not the same in different frequency bands for a given
room. It can be shown that the time T, in seconds, it takes for the sound to attenuate by 60dB in a perfectly diffuse room proposed by Sabine (Wallace Clement
Sabine 18681919), in a given frequency band, is approximately

T 60 0.16

V
A

(1.3)

This equation is called Sabines formula and is rightfully the most well-known
relation of parameters in room acoustics. In reality, especially smaller rooms are

Sound in Rooms

Fig.1.7Graphic
representation of
reverberation time
(RT) and T30

not perfectly diffuse and certainly not in all frequency bands. V is the volume of
the hall in cubic meters and A is the absorption area, meaning the number of equivalent square meters of 100% sound-absorbing material in a given frequency band.
The reverberation time is sometimes, also in this book, denoted simply T or RT.
When actually measuring the reverberation time of a room usually only the
sound from 5 to 35dB or even 25dB is measured because background noise
usually makes it difficult actually to measure anything as silent as 60dB below the
sound source measurement signal. The time this 30 or 20dB decay takes is then
multiplied by 2 or 3, respectively (most often, this multiplication is performed by
the measurement device itself), assuming that the decay is linear over time so that
the decay of the first some 30dB takes the same time as the latter 30dB. This
measured reverberation time is called T30 (Fig.1.7) or T20. One can get a rough
estimate of the reverberation time in a room at approximately 2kHz by clapping
ones hands once and counting the number of seconds it takes for that sound to
die out. Low-frequency reverberation time can be estimated by producing a similar low-frequency sound. Of course, such tests are not in compliance with any
standards for measurement of reverberation time where an exact measurement is
made in every octave, or third octave band, for instance by firing a gun, an abrupt
loud signal of noise, or measuring the decay of a sine wave sweeping through
frequencies.
This reverberation time based on a long decay is also called the terminal reverberation time because it denotes a sound and the decay to more or less complete
inaudibility. This seldom being the case during a concert (mostly only at the last
note of a song), there is also another parameter describing sound decay called the
running reverberation time. This takes into account only the first 10dB of decay
and to make it comparable to the terminal reverberation time, this time is multiplied by 6. If the decay slope is strictly linear from 0 to 60dB the two reverberation times are identical, but this is seldom the case. The running reverberation
time is denoted EDTearly decay timeand was suggested in 1968 by Vilhelm

1 Principles of Acoustics and Hearing

Fig.1.8A linear (a) and a nonlinear (b) sound decay in a room. This explains why T30 and EDT
can be different

Lassen Jordan (19091982). The EDT is heavily dependent on the position in the
hall where it is measured. As shown later, a given volume of hall for a given purpose has an ideal associated terminal reverberation time. Bigger halls allow, as
mentioned, longer reverberation. The sound decay is often nonlinear and EDT is
often a more relevant parameter to describe the reverberation actually experienced
by a listener in a given position of a room. See Fig.1.8.
The so-called Schrder frequency suggested in 1962 by Manfred R. Schrder
(19262009) denotes the frequency below which the sound field can be regarded
as being dominated by discrete standing waves

fs = 2,000

T
V

(1.4)

where T is the reverberation time of the room in seconds and V is the volume in
cubic meters.
There is no sharp line defining above which frequency the sound field can be
regarded as diffuse. Below this frequency, on the other hand, as discussed above,
the modes will not be close to one another, thus standing waves at single frequencies will occur. In either case reverberation will occur at least as the decay of sound
from the standing waves. As seen in Eq.(1.4), in bigger rooms the Schrder frequency is lower. In smaller rooms, measurements of low-frequency reverberation
time can be very dependent on the position where it is measured because of the
modes; therefore many measurements at different positions are averaged.
The halls investigated in this book are in almost all cases over some 1,000m3.
With an ideal reverberation time for pop and rock music of 0.6s for that size volume (see Chap.5), this yields a Schrder frequency fs below about 50Hz, close to
the lower extremity of the 63-Hz octave band. Although a lot of halls suffer from a
long reverberation time at low frequencies moving fs upwards, for the purposes of this
book, sound even in the 63-Hz octave band is generally regarded as diffuse. This is

Sound in Rooms

important to stress, for instance, for sound engineers who often think of room acoustics solely in terms of standing waves. For studios and very small venues such as clubs
and cafs with, for example, a low ceiling, it is certainly correct that distinguished
annoying modes exist at lower frequencies. For mid-sized or larger halls this is not
an essential point; the density of the natural frequencies is high enough even for low
tones to be regarded as a diffuse sound field that decays over time as reverberation.
The relation between sound-level difference and reverberation time difference
under the diffuse sound field is

Lp = 10 log

T1
T2

(1.5)

According to this formula doubling the reverberation time in a given frequency


band compared to others, results in 10 log 23dB extra response from that
frequency band. A common misconception is the belief that when that frequency
band has been lowered level wise, for instance on an equalizer, then the room
acoustics have been corrected! This is completely incorrect because the reverberation time at that frequency is still the same. Level adjustments work in the level
domain, not in the time domain. As a matter of fact the reverberation of a given
room size has to be not too long and usually not too short either for a given purpose. Furthermore, musicians and sound engineers adjust their playing and their
levels so that it conforms to the hall and the situation. Thereby the level difference that the possibly uneven reverberation times at different frequencies impose
is evened out, still leaving the clarity of the sound, and thereby the overall sound
quality, to be affected. As we show, a too-high reverberation value in a given frequency band will cause an undefined blurred sound in that frequency domain and
often that is enough to damage the overall sound in a venue.
Acoustic consultants use this connection between reverberation and sound level
as means to enhance, or acoustically amplify, lower frequency sound in halls for
acoustical music, for example, or inversely, to reduce noise in a kindergarten or
factory. In pop and rock venues, the amplification aspect of reverberation is close
to uninteresting inasmuch as all levels are adjusted by the turn of a knob either
by the musician or by the sound engineer. For amplified music the reverberation
solely affects the sound by either washing away the core message in the music
(when it is too long) or by making the performance seem dull and lacking liveliness (when too short) as discussed in Chap.5.

Human Hearing
A sound source emits sound in many directions and the reverberation consists of
thousands of reflections from many surfaces in the room (the surfaces that are not
100% sound absorbing at all frequencies). In a concert hall for symphonic music
there are approximately 8,000 reflections from one single note during the first second.
Of course in smaller and less reverberant halls there are fewer reflections, but still

10

1 Principles of Acoustics and Hearing

Fig.1.9Equal loudness
contours at various levels.
Different frequencies
need different levels to be
perceived equally loud for
humans. The contours vary
with sound level. Lowest
curve is the hearing threshold

each one has a delay, a direction, and a sound level associated with it. The ear is
highly selective in interpreting this abundant information. The direct sound is precisely localized by the ear: even when the sum of later reflections is louder than
the first direct sound, the ear is capable of detecting the direction from where it
originates. The direct sound is usually not fully masked by louder later sound.
The term masking is used when the presence of a given sound A makes another
sound B inaudible (fully masking) or more or less difficult to hear (partially masking). A masks B or B is masked by A: a person needs to turn down the television in
order to understand what is being said on the phone. Generally a single note masks
more towards the upper frequencies of other tones than to the lower. In addition,
the louder the masking tone is, the broader a frequency range it masks. The term
forward masking is used to describe the phenomenon that a loud sound signal can
mask another weaker signal which is presented up to 200ms after the first signal
stops. The opposite also is possible and is called backwards masking because it
goes back in time and the effect is restricted to 20ms before the start of the strong
signal when loud enough compared to the weak one.
Perceived strength of a sound is called loudness. The unit is son or sone. A
short sound with the same sound level as a longer sound is perceived as less loud.
A 5-ms sound must be 25dB louder for the loudness to be the same as a 60-dB
sound of 200-ms duration. The ear is most sensitive sounds at different frequencies
but at the same sound level dont occur equally loud to the ear.
The ear is most sensitive around 3.4kHz (the approximate resonance frequency
of the typical ear canal) whereas our hearing rolls off at higher and certainly at
lower frequencies below about 100Hz although less at higher sound levels. This is
one reason why at pop and rock concerts so much electric power is used to amplify
the low frequencies for them to be perceived equally loud as higher frequencies.
The graph showing this is referred to as the equal loudness contours (Fig.1.9).

Human Hearing

11

Fig.1.10The human ear


can hear sounds that are
louder than the threshold in
quiet curve. One sound, the
masker casts a shadow at
frequencies both higher and
lower than itself that prevents
other sounds, masked
sounds, to be audible if they
are at a lower level than the
masking threshold

Fig.1.11The curves show


the masking thresholds when
the ear is exposed to about
60dB narrowband noise
at 250Hz, 1 and 4kHz
(Zwicker and Fastl)

When regarding the figure it is seen that a sound decay from, for instance, 100dB
at 50Hz gets inaudible quicker than a decay at, for instance, 200Hz because the
difference in dB from the perceived 100dB curve to the hearing curve threshold is
smaller at 50Hz (given that the reverberation time of the room is close to being the
same at those two frequencies). See Figs.1.10, 1.11, 1.12 and 1.13.

Acoustic Defects: Echo


If a reflection is delayed by more than 50ms compared to the direct sound, the ear
will perceive that reflection as a distinct echo if it is louder than adjacent reflections that arrive before or after. These other reflections could otherwise mask it.
An echo is always unacceptable in a music hall and must be eliminated. Echoes
are more apt to occur in halls with short reverberation times because there will be
few other reflections to mask them.
Flutter echoes are a series of rapidly repeated echoes mainly by parallel planar surfaces. Whereas distinct echoes involve long path lengths, flutter echoes are
likely to occur at shorter distances such as between parallel walls on a stage, particularly if not many obstructive elements are present.

12

1 Principles of Acoustics and Hearing

Fig.1.12The influence of level on the masking threshold. The masking effect gets broader with
increasing level. Masking thus increases nonlinearly with level (Zwicker and Fastl)

Fig.1.13The broadness of the masking curve changes with frequency. The slope at 70Hz is
steeper than those at higher frequencies indicating that sounds in the 63-Hz band do not mask as
broadly as higher frequency sound. Here, instead of the octave band, the Bark scale is used. This
scale is used in psychoacoustics instead of octave bands (Zwicker and Fastl)

Scattering
Flutter as well as distinct echoes can be avoided by applying a diffusive or angled
structure on surfaces where the specular reflection originates. In (smaller) rooms
with little or no obstructive elements the standing waves are not taken apart
whereby the amplitude of the standing waves and thereby colorations of the sound
can reach higher levels. The same goes for rooms with parallel surfaces especially,
of course, if the room dimensions are low integer multiples of one another. These
waves should be broken up to avoid colorations. An analogy to waves in water can
be made: a pier or mole forms a breakwater that will crush the wave. But obstructive elements in a room of a size comparable to the wavelength of the wave do
indeed break the wave so that a more uniform distribution of sound energy of the
tone becomes present in the room. The sound field is scattered. The big peaks and
dips are somewhat evened out so that one will encounter fewer level differences
throughout the room. The reverberation time of a room with uneven distribution of
sound absorption is greatly reduced when the room is made more diffuse.

Scattering

13

The depth and the overall dimensions of scattering elements, also referred
to as diffusers, are decisive for which frequencies are scattered. For example,
many living rooms are highly diffusive (diffuse) because of the presence of lots
of small and large elements randomly placed in the room. Schrder was behind
a major development in diffusive elements (1979) where he proposed a series of
diffusers whose properties could be calculated in advance. The pioneering work of
exploiting diffusers has since been carried forward by Marshall, Cox, dAntonio,
Konnert, and others. Vorlnder and Mommertz have made progress in actually
measuring scattering coefficients in the laboratory.
In mid-sized and bigger halls (which this book is mainly about) additional
scattering elements are not a necessity because of the high diffusivity due to the
absence of isolated standing waves in large enclosures. Also an audience scatters
the sound profoundly, although not as much at lower frequencies. The stage surrounding may, however, benefit from well-designed diffusive surfaces that eliminate flutter echoes and help to distribute the sound energy on stage more evenly.

Acoustic Vocal Sound


Niels W. Adelman-Larsen and Jens Jrgen Dammerud
The vocal is often a primary instrument at pop and rock performances and without
clear comprehensible lyrics a lot of the message from the band to the audience is
lost. Understanding what is actually being sung is related to the term speech intelligibility. Much research is carried out on speech intelligibility. Some of the results
from this research show that the mid- to high-frequency sound is the most important
for enabling understanding of what is actually being said. Consonants are important
and they have most of their sound energy within this frequency range. A telephone
transmits almost exclusively 3003,000-Hz sound. And yet we understand very well
whats being said. It is also within this frequency range that our hearing is most
sensitive. At low levels our auditory system is not very sensitive to low-frequency
sound. The low-frequency sound is not critical for getting the message. It will in
most cases actually be more of the opposite: low-frequency sounds will often mask
mid-frequency sound, the low-frequency sound being a masker for the other sound
components, and just make communication more difficult. Figure1.14 shows this
effect. The louder the low-frequency sounds are, the broader a shadow is cast.
Of course a vocal consisting only of 3003,000-Hz sound doesnt sound very
natural. A male speaker has his fundamental sound component usually within the
125-Hz octave band, whereas female speech is usually within the 250-Hz octave
band. In singing, the fundamental tones are also often within these ranges.
Within the 125- and 250-Hz octave bands a speaker or singer is close to emitting sound omnidirectionally, meaning that the sound propagates at close to
equal levels in all directions away from the person. At higher frequencies the
emitted sound is much more focused towards the front. This means that the

14

1 Principles of Acoustics and Hearing

Fig.1.14Low-frequency
content of the voice can
partially mask higher
frequency content. Vertical:
level; horizontal: frequency

total emitted sound in all directions is usually much higher at low frequencies.
Especially in an open space without reflections the directivity of the speaker
is relevant with regard to the orientation of the speaker. If the person is faced
away, the acoustic direct sound level within 3003,000Hz is significantly
reduced.
What effect does the room have on speech intelligibility? For instance, in small
meeting rooms the bass level due to standing waves can be so high compared to
other frequencies that intelligibility is low even close to the speaker. In some cases
the intelligibility is not too bad, but the low-frequency boost alone can be very
disturbing. As mentioned, speech can be intelligible at a distance of 50m in an
open free field. For small rooms standing waves due to room modes will often be
significant and these room modes can contribute to rather extreme acoustic gain of
the speech, typically within the 125-Hz octave bands, but also within the 250-Hz
octave band in very small rooms. In larger rooms where the speaker is amplified
by electroacoustic means, often speech intelligibility is low if the low-frequency
reverberation time is long and if the sound engineer does not lower the lowfrequency content on the sound system. The long RT at low frequencies in the hall
boosts the low frequency sound but it also masks the next syllable in the sentence
of the speaker. The amplification is brought down to resemble the speakers actual
voice with the help of an equalizer (EQ). If the reverberant bass sound still masks
the important frequencies for intelligibility (3003,000Hz) the sound engineer can
adjust the EQ even harder and bring down the low end farther. The audience will
probably not think that they did not get what they came for just because there was
not a lot of low-frequency content in the voice. The important thing here is getting
the message across. And that predominantly happens, for vocal sound, from 300
to 3,000Hz. The professional sound engineer will instinctively equalize the voice
so that no frequencies are masking others to the point where a transparent, open
sound appears from the PA system in the hall. Also the sound level produced by
the PA system is important for speech intelligibility; a too-high sound level introduces distortion in the listeners hearing system, which can significantly reduce
intelligibility.
Reflected sound within the mid- and high-frequency range can also mask
the direct sound. Furthermore, late single reflections perceived as echo are very
disturbing. Such echoes can result in temporal (forward) masking where a loud

Acoustic Vocal Sound

15

reflection can make it difficult to hear new appearing direct sound. To sum up: the
accumulated reverberant response provides a general background noise that certainly can partially mask the direct sound. Just as the sound engineer can clean out
masking frequencies from a vocal to obtain a transparent sound, so he can obtain a
clear mix of a whole rock band as discussed in Chap.5.

Absorber Types
As mentioned, a certain volume of hall used for a given purpose has a recommended reverberation time associated with it. As seen from Sabines equation, the
hall volume and the area of (100%) absorptive materials determine the reverberation time in a perfectly diffusive room. The geometry of the interior design affects
the diffusivity of the enclosed space whereby the reverberation time is affected.
Once the general architectural design of the interior of a hall is chosen it becomes
the job of an acoustician, in accordance with the architect, to consider which
building materials and acoustical products to employ, to what extent, and how
to mount them because in this way they can predict which frequency bands are
absorbed and to what degree. In this way a desired reverberation time as a function
of frequency can be achieved in a given hall. In Table1.1 absorption coefficients
for some building materials are shown for various frequency bands. Absorption of
sound can take place by three different means: porous, vibrating panel, and resonator absorption.
In porous absorption (such as mineral wool, drapes, porous concrete, etc.)
the sound energy is dissipated into heat because the propagation of the sound
wave is impeded. The porosity of a given material determines its flow resistance
which is an important measure when calculating absorption properties of porous
absorbers. The sound wave is impeded the most at the distance from the surface
where the particle velocity of the wave is at its highest. This occurs 1, 3, or 5 or
more times a quarter of a wavelength away from the surface; placing the porous
absorber at a distance from the wall will increase the absorption effect at lower
frequencies. But for the porous absorber to work at low frequencies it usually has
to be of a certain thickness too in order to be obstructive for the relatively big
wave. This is one reason why curtains, drapes, banners, and the like traditionally
do not absorb any significant amount of sound energy below some 200Hz. One
can easily make a quick test if something is working as porous absorber: when
blowing at the specimen, does the air seem to go through or is it blocked? If it
goes through, and with some resistance, it will work by the porous absorption
principle. See Fig.1.15.
Vibrating panel absorption, also known as membrane absorption, occurs when
the sound pressure on one side of a stiff or limb plate is significantly different from that on the other side. So if there is an airtight cavity behind the plate
it will absorb sound because the plate will be forced to vibrate forth and back
being pressed by the higher sound pressure on the one side and forced back by

16

1 Principles of Acoustics and Hearing

Table1.1Possible acoustic absorption coefficients of different building materials (from Barron,


Kuttruff, etc.)
Material

Center frequency of octave band (Hz)


125 250 500 1,000 2,000 4,000

Hard surfaces (brick walls, plaster, hard floors, etc.)


Slightly vibrating walls, suspended ceiling, glazing, etc.
Vibrating surfaces (single-layer gypsum board, etc.)
Carpet, 5-mm thick
Curtain (velour, draped)
Air absorption coefficient, 4m (m1)

0.02
0.10
0.25
0.02
0.06
0.00

0.02
0.07
0.20
0.03
0.31
0.00

0.03
0.05
0.10
0.05
0.44
0.00

0.03
0.04
0.05
0.10
0.80
0.00

0.04
0.04
0.05
0.30
0.75
0.01

0.05
0.05
0.05
0.50
0.65
0.03

Fig.1.15Porous absorption works better at larger wave lengths when at a distance from the
reflecting surface. The dashed curve represents the particle velocity in the reflected sound wave

the elasticity of the plate like a spring. Hence the system acts as does any massspringdamping system where the damping takes place inside the membrane
as well as in the enclosed air volume of the cavity behind the plate. In order to
increase the damping properties the cavity is often partly filled with porous
absorption. A gypsum wall, a wooden floor on a cavity, and a window are all
building elements that function by the membrane absorber principle and are certainly taken into account when designing spaces acoustically. The depth of the
cavity and the mass per area of the membrane are two key factors when calculating at what frequency the absorber will achieve its maximum absorption as well as
the frequency range of the absorber. Also the elasticity module of the plate material and the plate size are important attributes.
Resonating absorbers consist of an enclosed volume of air which is in open
contact with the outside air through one or more openings. They are divided into
three types depending on shape and number of openings: Helmholz resonators, slit

Absorber Types

17

resonators, and resonating panels. They possess very different absorption properties. The sound absorption that occurs in these devices is connected to the fact that
the incoming sound waves meet the reflected, phase-shifted sound waves whereby
they to some degree cancel each other. Where Helmholtz resonators are used to
absorb single standing waves, slit resonators and resonating panels are used to
absorb broader frequency ranges. Such panels are well known, such as perforated
gypsum panels mounted in the ceiling.
Absorbers are used either to achieve a suitable reverberation time for a given
purpose, to eliminate unwanted reflections such as echoes (diffusers or angled surfaces are maybe more obvious for this purpose), or to lower noise levels in rooms
such as kindergartens, factories, and offices.
One must always remember that in order to make a significant lowering of
reverberation time across frequencies in a given hall very significant areas must
be occupied with absorption of a relatively high absorption coefficient across frequencies. Often the entire ceiling area or more must be used to achieve a desired
effect. This can be an expensive venture and that is why it is highly recommended
to get an acoustical consultant to do exact calculations. It is simply too expensive
not to get it right in the first stroke.

Audience Absorption
A common comment among live sound engineers to the musicians at sound check
is, Dont worry; it will be OK once the audience is in place, usually said with
an ironic smile. Well, the audience in fact does absorb a lot of sound but almost
exclusively at middle and higher frequencies. A tightly packed standing audience
has an absorption coefficient of above 1.0 at frequencies higher than 1kHz. The
reason why a coefficient greater than 1 is possible is both that the surface of the
people is greater than the surface at which they are standing, but also because they
scatter the sound whereby the probability of the sound being absorbed elsewhere
heightens, leading to a greater absorption coefficient. In Fig.1.16 absorption coefficients of a standing and seated audience are shown as a function of frequency. If
the seats are heavily upholstered, higher absorption coefficients at low frequencies
can be obtained.
The absorption effect of an audience is very similar to that of heavy drapery
in front of a reflective surface. Also, quite few people, diversely spread over the
audience area, have an impact on the reverberation time of a hall. On the other
hand, the author and his colleagues have encountered at least one hall that had to
be completely filled with an audience before the sound would be acceptable on
stage. In Chap. 4 20 Danish halls for pop and rock are presented. Each of the T30
diagrams includes a calculated T30 curve with a packed audience. The presence of
an audience does not have a big influence on the low-frequency reverberation time
of a hall. This is one reason why halls for pop and rock must be designed with a
low RT at low frequencies as discussed later in detail.

1 Principles of Acoustics and Hearing

18
Fig.1.16Absorption
coefficients of seated and
standing audiences

Table1.2Attenuation
constant of air at 20C and
normal atmospheric pressure,
in 103m1 (after Kuttruff)

Relative humidity (%)


40
50
60
70

Frequency (kHz)
0.5
1
2

0.6
0.6
0.6
0.6

8.4
6.8
5.9
5.3

30.0
24.3
20.1
17.9

1.1
1.1
1.1
1.2

2.6
2.3
2.2
2.1

Air Absorption
A shorter reverberation above 24kHz is normal in halls above a certain size as in
almost all halls presented in this book. This is due to the absorption of sound by
air. Air absorbs a significant amount of sound at very high frequencies as seen in
Table1.2. Dry air absorbs much more sound than more humid air, so part of the highfrequency sound above 24kHz which is absorbed by the audience is given back
once they start to dance and sweat if the hall is not effectively dehumidified or the air
was humid to begin with. The sound engineer will usually make up for the soundlevel part of this effect on EQs. Also, at pop and rock concerts, artificial reverberation
is usually added to many instruments at higher frequencies anyway, and the amount
of this can be adjusted by the engineer according to the humidity changes. This effect
can also be part of the reason why the above-mentioned hall only sounded good with
a packed audience: the ventilation system in that hall was known to be unable to keep
up with a full house. The high-frequency sound was therefore not absorbed as much,
thus the low-frequency reverberation would not stand out as much but be somewhat
masked by higher frequency reverberant sound, making the hall just bearable.
The air absorption is also the reason why acoustic parameters often are not given
a value at the 8-kHz octave band for auditorium acoustics. In smaller size rooms
such as sound studios it is in that sense a relevant frequency band to consider.

Critical Distance and Level of Reverberation

19

Critical Distance and Level of Reverberation


As earlier stated, the sound level of a sound source in a free field decreases by
6dB per doubling of distance. The sound in a room under the diffuse sound field
assumption consists of two parts: the direct sound from the sound source and the
reverberant sound which is the sum of reflections described as the diffuse sound
field. The sound level of the diffuse sound field is approximately the same in any
location of the hall. In rooms with a low RT this is not completely the case though,
as discussed later.



4(1 )
Q
+
Lp = Lw + 10 log
dB(metric)
(1.6)

4r 2
S
In this equation Lp is the sound pressure level at a distance r, Lw is the sound
power level of the sound source, Q is the directivity of the source, S is the surface
area of the room, and is the area weighted average of the absorption coefficient.
The first term of the equation containing r2 refers to the 6-dB attenuation of the
direct sound field per doubling of distance, and the second term with S refers to
the reverberant field. This equation is for empty rooms with diffuse sound fields
with uniformly distributed sound-absorbing material.
This implies that close to the sound source, the direct sound is relatively loud
and the reverberant sound has a given level which is the same anywhere in the
room. Farther away from the sound source the direct sound level has decreased
and the reverberant sound level is the same as closer to the source. Thereby the
level of reverberant sound relative to direct sound is higher far away from the
sound source compared to close to the source.
The distance from the sound source where the level of the direct sound is equal
to that of the diffuse sound is called the critical distance, reverberation radius, or
room radius.
From the above equation it can be deduced that

QV
(1.7)
r, cr =
(metric)
100T (1 )
where Q is the directivity of the loudspeaker in a given frequency band, V is
the volume of the hall, T is the reverberation time of the hall, and is the area
weighted average of the absorption coefficient. For systems with several loudspeakers the equation yields

QV

 (metric)
r, cr =
(1.8)

100T 1 N

where N is the number of loudspeakers or rather discrete clusters of loudspeakers.


It is seen that the critical distance increases with higher values of Q and V and

20

1 Principles of Acoustics and Hearing

with smaller values of T, , and N. This means that a larger share of the audience
will enjoy a clear sound when Q, V, and are increased and when T and N are
decreased. This is easy to understand intuitively.
This has some consequences when designing acoustics for amplified music and
also in the design of loudspeakers and loudspeaker systems for halls.
The most striking information in this equation is perhaps the effect of the low
Q value of any loudspeaker at low frequencies. In the 63- and 125-Hz octave band
the directivity of a sound source is low due to the omnidirectional nature of sound
waves emitted from loudspeakers at these frequencies. An omnidirectional source
has a Q of 1. The Q of, for example, a loudspeaker with a dispersion pattern of 90
wide by 40 high has a Q of 10. This is one reason why, as we show, the reverberation time T at low frequencies must be low.
The equation that includes the number of different sound sources implies, for
instance, that one should only employ extra clusters of loudspeakers such as delay
speakers when no other option is possible. On the other hand, one could be led to
think that as low a reverberation time as possible would be the answer for correct
acoustics for amplified music. As shown later this is not correct; in fact there is a
lower limit to recommended reverberation time for pop and rock music halls just
as for halls for other musical genres. Achieving enough level is usually not a problem because the speaker system normally can be turned up (or extra amplification power can be assigned) so reverberation to increase sound level is not needed
(although the very low tones from up to perhaps around 70Hz might in fact benefit from a certain amount of acoustical amplification).

Reverberation Time Design


When designing halls for classical music the challenge is often to get a high
enough value of reverberation time. The reverberation time is proportional to
the volume of the hall, therefore the challenge is typically met by building halls
with a relatively high ceiling. One strategy used is that of counting the volume of
empty space in the hall per audience. For amplified music, as we show, the aim is
to obtain a lower RT. Different prediction tools such as computer models are of
help as well as calculations including Sabines formula mentioned earlier. From
data sheets containing the absorption coefficient of building materials in at least
the octave bands 125Hz2kHz, and maybe some specific absorption coefficient
measurements on certain special materials used in the hall, as well as experience,
the trained acoustic consultant is capable of making good estimates of RT of a hall
before it is built or refurbished.
When designing halls with seats, a type of seat is often chosen so that its
absorption matches that of a person. This is a way to ensure that the acoustics
dont change much from rehearsal to concert or if the hall is not completely full.
This is of advantage for the orchestra and thereby also beneficial to the audience.
Some typical values of absorption coefficients for different building materials are

Reverberation Time Design

21

found in Table1.1. When using Sabines formula it should be remembered that it


is based on a perfectly diffuse room. This is seldom the case, especially when a
large amount of absorption is present on, for instance, one entire surface. A packed
audience on the floor represents such a surface.

Background Noise
Because the sound level is high at pop and rock concerts there are no real recommendations as to level of background noise within the hall. The audience is
sometimes almost as loud between songs as the band playing their songs. Halls for
classical performances have very strict background sound levels and this also indicates that clubs for dynamic jazz can benefit from a somewhat limited background
noise level. In smaller clubs the bartender usually does not brew espresso during
ballads. Ventilation and moving lights are among possible noise sources but also
railways and highways can be too loud for a jazz club.

Sound Levels and Amplified Events


Niels W. Adelman-Larsen and Jacob Navne
Decibel denotes, as mentioned, the level of acoustic quantities relative to their
reference values. In the case of sound pressure, the reference sound pressure, Pref,
is 20 Pa. One often used descriptor for absolute sound level is the sound pressure
level (SPL) which is defined as

Lp = SPL = 10 log

prms 2
pref 2

(1.9)

where prms is the root mean square value of the sound pressure. RMS is the effective pressure of the time-varying sound pressure. The total SPL value is the summation of each SPL value in every octave or third octave band measured by the
measurement device.
Because the human ear is less sensitive to low frequencies than to middle frequencies particularly at low levels, standardized frequency weighting filters are used to give
the sound pressure a value that corresponds to the perceived hearing impression. The
so-called A-weighted value, for instance, is 19.1dB lower at 100Hz and 10.9dB lower
at 200Hz (third octave bands) than the sound pressure level with no filter used. The
A-weighted sound pressure level is denoted LA or can be specified by writing dB(A).
As a measure for characterizing the sound pressure level of a fluctuating noise
averaged over time the equivalent sound pressure level Leq is used. This measure
can also be A-weighted, denoted LA,eq. This is the basis of calculating how big
a dose of sound a person is exposed to, such as during a concert or a working

22

1 Principles of Acoustics and Hearing

Fig.1.17Sound level
readout on a laptop computer
at the mixing console of
Ancienne Belgique, Bruxelles

day in a manufacturing facility. For instance, in Denmark the maximum doses during a eight- hour working day is an LA,eq of 85dB. Mathematically, a doubling in
terms of dB is approximately 3dB but humans need an extra 10dB to experience
a sound level increase as a doubling.
The LA,eq can be measured directly on most sound-level meters. Calculations
can also be made and as an example, at a concert, three tunes of respectively 3, 4,
and 5min are played; the averaged LA,eq level of the three songs is, respectively,
100, 95, and 105dB at a given location. The total LA,eq during the 12min of those
three songs at that location is found as


4
5
3 10, 0
10
+ 109, 5 + 1010, 5 = 102 dB
LA, eq = 10 log
(1.10)
12
12
12

In most countries legislation sets a maximum averaged sound pressure level for any
employee to receive during a workday. These pieces of legislation are in place to
ensure the health and safety of workers in noisy environments. It is the responsibility
of the employer to make certain that the noise in the work environment is as little as
possible. This is quite a dilemma when looking at live reinforced music, given that
the noise you need to protect the workers from is the actual product that this factory is selling to its audience, that is, the music being performed. Two very conflicting interests are at play in this scenario. The customers (i.e., the audience) want to
experience an event they cannot reproduce at home, with punchy bass and loud and
clear sound and ambiance. At the same time the employees need to be exposed to as
little noise as possible. Moving workplaces such as the bar, coat check, and so on
outside the main concert area helps reduce the exposure by architectural means.
It has become very common to measure the actual sound level in venues during amplified music concerts. The microphone is most often placed approximately
in the center of the audience area, at the sound engineers desk, referred to as the
front of house or FOH. The sound engineer monitors the level, for instance, on a
laptop, throughout the concert (Fig.1.17).
When measuring the sound level at a concert, the preferred measurement
method is Leq. As music is dynamic in nature, the Leq value is a good way to

Sound Levels and Amplified Events

23

monitor the averaged level such as during a whole concert. Doing SPL measurements at live events is always a compromise between measurement accuracy and
realistic possibilities at the actual event. In an ideal world, a number of measurement positions would be looked at, as the SPL varies with distance to the stage
and the main loudspeaker array. In reality it is, however, difficult to place expensive measurement microphones among the audience, and therefore one single
fixed, protected position at the FOH is the common standard.
In some countries, such as Germany with the DIN 15905-5 standard, the measurement needs to be compensated for the difference between the loudest point
in the audience, and the actual measurement point. In this norm, a test signal is
played prior to allowing the audience into the venue, and using this signal and a
compensation algorithm in the measurement equipment, the difference is measured
and used during the concert. In this way, the values displayed by the measurement
equipment are not the actual SPL at the measurement position, but a compensated
calculated SPL at the loudest point in the venue. This approach is also used in
Sweden and Belgium. It makes good sense inasmuch as actual hearing damage is
often a result of a few minutes of extremely loud levels rather than a couple of dB
higher SPL over a couple of hours or even a large number of concerts.
A number of countries have sound-level limits for live shows. These are not
directly related to health and safety but mainly based on an overall compromise
between many stakeholdersthe audience who wants a physical experience,
the organizer who wants to have a satisfied audience, neighbors who want their
sleepand an overall concern towards the comfort of the listening audience. These
limits are often based on LA,eq values, and typically range from 99 to 103dB and
timespan averages from 15 to 60min.
It is important to know that for a live show of any modern genre, an average
LA,eq of 100dB is generally needed in order to fulfill the requirement from the
audience to both hear and feel the show. As mentioned, the typical maximum
doses for employees in factories is LA,eq=85dB over 8h. If this same limit were
to be followed at rock shows, a show at 100dB on average could last no more than
15min, then the audience would have received a full day of exposure due to the
relationship between dB and time mentioned above (or simply by deducing that a
3-dB increase in average SPL equals a doubling of noise exposure to the ear, and
thus halves the time it takes to obtain the same dose).
In that perspective, a live show will never be a safe event in terms of normal
health and safety regulations, however, very few people attend more than 510
concerts a year, and when compared to the everyday exposure of MP3 music players and headphones mounted directly into the ear canal, with a much higher SPL,
the risk that a live music event is the reason for a person developing a hearing
impairment is low. The risk is there, though, and is biggest in small venues with a
low ceiling or in other cases where the PA speakers are not elevated high above the
audience. In these cases severe differences in SPL are present between audiences
close to the stage and those in the rear.
In some countries, sound level limits at live shows are fairly gentle. Denmark,
Norway, and the Netherlands, for instance, are using an LA,eq of 103dB over

24

1 Principles of Acoustics and Hearing

15min. This makes for loud shows, and only limits very few acts in being as loud
as they want to: in fact even with the right to be at 103dB, most shows are played
at 99101dB on average, as this often proves to be an adequate SPL. Of course if
this measurement is made at the sound engineers position, without being corrected
with regard to the potentially shorter distance from the speakers to some audience
members it may, depending on the layout of the hall, mean that other audience
members receive considerable larger doses. Other countries including Sweden and
Switzerland have a stricter approach, where shows are to be at 99dB(A), and for
Sweden, the limit is lowered if any audience member is below the age of 13. Then
it is set at LA,eq 93dB over 60min. A number of exceptions exist.
Especially for outdoor events in closely populated areas, the limits are very
strict, and sometimes even based on instant values instead of an average. This
makes it very difficult to produce a concert at a sound level expected by the audience, and complaints from ticke tholders are often the end result.
One of the main limitations with the current legislation is that the maximum levels set forth are almost always based on A-weighted values. Part of the reason for
that is also that the majority of noise regulations and guidance literature was written in the mid-twentieth century. At that time loudspeaker design was in its infancy,
and not comparable to todays powerful line arrays and huge sub bass cabinets. The
development in loudspeaker design has enabled sound engineers to play with full
range systems, frequencies from around 30Hz all the way to 20kHz.
Bass frequencies are the most difficult to control and sound insulate. This
fact often results in neighbors mainly being bothered by bass frequency sound,
and not the sound stemming from other instruments. As mentioned, A-weighting
removes a lot of bass content from the measurement to better mimic the behavior
of the ear, and thus there is very little correlation between the measured SPL at
the event and the nuisance experienced by the neighbor. An example that describes
the inadequacy of A-weighting for this purpose could be to look at the difference
between a British guitar rock band, and an electronic dance act. Both orchestras
may play at the same LA,eq of 100dB measured inside the venue, but due to the
very heavy bass that is often associated with the electronic music genre, the neighbor of such an event will be bothered much more by the electronic act than by
the rock band, as the bass content is much, much louder, but not reflected on the
A-weighted measurement. Switching to more frequency flat C-weighted measurements would provide a much better correlation between the value measured inside
the venue and the nuisance to the neighbors. Switching to C-weighted measurements would at the same time require a significant increase in the value of the
maximum allowed Leq. When looking at measurements of A- and C-weighted
values performed simultaneously, there is often a 1020dB difference between
the two quantities, so a limit of LA,eq 15min=100dB, would have to be Lc,eq
15min=110dB or maybe even more.
Regardless of the important safety issue of sound-level control at amplified
concerts, it should be remembered that our hearing system distorts more at higher
levels. The masking curves in Fig.1.12 show that at higher levels the sound engineer has a more difficult job creating a clear sound.

Chapter 2

Auditorium Acoustics: Terms, Language,


and Concepts

There have been primarily three methods for performing subjective studies of the
acoustics in concert halls for classical music, each of which has its advantages and
disadvantages. One method has been to create a virtual concert hall in a laboratory, where either recordings from a given hall or simulations from room-acoustics
software were presented to the listeners. The acoustics could either be simulated
with an array of loudspeakers in an anechoic chamber or auralized and presented
over headphones. With this method, listeners can quickly rate many halls without
having to travel long distances. Some other benefits are that halls can be presented
anonymously and blindly so that there is no bias based on a halls reputation or
visual appeal, and the exact same performance of a piece of music can be evaluated in all halls and positions. Despite these advantages, it can be difficult to get
truly qualified listeners, such as professional musicians with their busy schedules,
to participate in a laboratory experiment. More important, the actual perceived
sound in such experiments is very far from the actual listening impressions in the
real halls. It is the authors opinion that it is questionable whether the approach has
a good enough connection to reality.
In search of a research model that is manageable and practical, decisive information may be lost. Fortunately great care is taken before making recommendations for the building of concert halls based on results originating from this
approach. An elaborated test method, used for instance by Lokki and Ptynen, is
to place numerous loudspeakers, each with an anechoic recording of a particular
instrument in the relevant position on stage in real concert halls. The total loudspeaker orchestra is then recorded in different locations among the audiences.
Each recording is then later played back over several loudspeakers in a quite anechoic room for test persons to evaluate. This gives quite surprisingly detailed auditory information. Testing isolated acoustical attributes and how they affect humans
may be tested in such set-ups. For truly evaluating a hall the method may not
prove adequate.
As an alternative, listening tests can be performed in an existing hall where
there is a possibility of changing the acoustics. However, the acoustical changes

N. W. Adelman-Larsen, Rock and Pop Venues, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-45236-9_2,


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26

2 Auditorium Acoustics: Terms, Language, and Concepts

that have been possible to make have formerly been somewhat limited and
typically have not included the low frequencies. The variations have been based
on changes of the amount and placement of absorption in the room leading to
different reverberation times and decay characteristics. When investigating, for
instance, ideal reverberation time or for a specific type of music, the advantage of
this method is that the basic system, hall geometry, overall diffusivity, and the like
remain constant whereby the one parameter, the reverberation time, is somewhat
isolated and thereby easier to judge. Evidently such experiments do not include
different size halls and thus recommendations of reverberation time do not stretch
across hall volume.
Surveys have also been done of existing halls through interviews of people
who have experience with the acoustics in many halls. These subjective measurements, often in the shape of a questionnaire the participants are asked to fill
out, are then correlated with objective, acoustic measurements of the halls. One
drawback of this method is that acoustic memory for some people is short and can
be colored by many nonacoustic factors. This can make the comparison of halls
imprecise. Therefore great care must be taken when choosing the test persons and
when interviewing them. Those who dont feel completely capable of performing the interview, and with certainty be able to remember the acoustics of certain
halls, must be told not to participate in the investigation regarding those halls.
Such extremely professional and experienced individuals who end up participating
in the survey have trained their sense of hearing as well as their acoustic memory
to a very high level, in many cases without even knowing it. This method of subjective responses to actual halls from memory was selected in the study leading
to the recommendations later in this book, primarily because it was deemed to be
important to avoid the lack of acoustical information connected with the two other
methods mentioned above but also because the author had an extensive network
among musicians and sound engineers and thus the investigation was relatively
easily set up.
During the twentieth century acousticians have introduced a number of words
that characterize a set of acoustical attributes that have proven to be of importance
when seeking to describe halls for symphonic music, opera, and other classical
music genres. This has enabled acousticians and musicians to share a common
vocabulary and thereby to communicate in a somewhat unambiguous way. Doelle
(1972), Barron (1993), and Beranek (1996) have provided a list of musical/acoustical terms listed, among others, in Architectural Acoustics by Marshall Long
(2006). Please see Table2.1. Each of the terms is associated with at least one
measureable acoustical property of a hall. A few of these terms are used in the
chapter on the design of halls for amplified music and certainly some of the terminologies are useful when discussing auditorium acoustics in general.
Likewise, in classical music concert halls at least five independent acoustic
qualities have been found. These are acoustic properties that the human ear is able
to identify isolated from one another. This work was primarily done by Hawkes
and Douglas (1971) and as articulated by Michael Barron (2010) discussing the
five qualities: The major concerns are that the clarity should be adequate to

Auditorium Acoustics: Terms, Language, and Concepts

27

Table2.1Commonly employed musical and acoustical terms and their definitions


Term

Definition

Balance
Blend
Brilliance

Equal loudness among the various orchestral and vocal participants


A harmonious mixture of orchestral sounds
A bright, clear, ringing sound, rich in harmonics, with slowly decaying
high-frequency components
The degree to which rapidly occurring individual sounds are distinguishable
Same as clarity
Lacking reverberation (little reverberationa)
The range of sound levels heard in the hall (or recording); dependent on the
difference between the loudest level and the lowest background level in
a space
A long delayed reflection of sufficient loudness returned to the listener
The perception that musicians can easily play togetherb
The impression that sound is arriving from all directions and surrounding
the listener
High-frequency harshness, due to reflection from flat surfaces
The sense that a hall responds quickly to a note. This depends on early
reflections returned to the musician
The same as reverberation above 350Hz
The sense that we are close to the source, based on a high direct-to-reverberant level
The sound that remains in the room after the source has been turned off. It
is characterized by the reverberation time
The perceived widening of the source beyond its visible limits. The apparent source width is another descriptor
The subjective impression that a listener receives from the sequence of
reflections returned by the hall
The quality of sound that distinguishes one instrument from another
The contents of harmonics or overtones and their strength relative to the
fundamental of a toneb
The beauty or fullness of tone in a space. It can be marred by unwanted
noises or resonances in the hall
The evenness of sound distribution
Low-frequency reverberation, between 75Hz and 350Hz

Clarity
Definition
Dry or dead
Dynamic range

Echo
Ensemble
Envelopment
Glare
Immediacy
Liveness
Presence/intimacyb
Reverberation
Spaciousness
Texture
Timbre
Tonal color
Tonal quality
Uniformity
Warmth

aAdded by the author. For instance, a quite dead room at low frequencies is favorable for amplified
music
bAdded/altered by Jens Holger Rindel

enable musical detail to be appreciated, that the reverberant response of the room
should be suitable, that the sound should provide the listener with an impression
of space, that the listener should sense the acoustic experience as intimate and that
he/she should judge it as having adequate loudness. In this short summary a part
of the challenge of auditorium acoustics becomes apparent: although clarity and
intimacy, to a large extent, call for a low reverberation time, the factors of reverberant response and impression of space, as well as (acoustic) loudness call for a
longer reverberation time. Acoustical consultants operate within a narrow window
in order to get all parameters right in a given space.

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2 Auditorium Acoustics: Terms, Language, and Concepts

These principal acoustical subjective qualities have been determined from the
questionnaire investigations mentioned earlier. Such investigations have led to an
understanding of basic important properties of reflections of sound from boundaries and the like in a room. The late, most quiet reflections are inaudible whereas
strong and delayed single reflections are perceived as disturbing echoes. One of
the pioneers in these investigations was Helmuth Haas who in 1951 found that the
human ear uses the first arriving sound to locate its position and later reflections,
even up to approximately 10dB louder still will appear to stem from the origin,
if they are delayed up to some 50ms compared to the direct sound. This is used
advantageously in connection with PA speaker coverage in order to make the emitted sound seem to originate from the orchestra.
Harold Marshall proposed in the late 1960s that early reflections are important
and that lateral reflections, meaning reflections from walls or other somewhat vertical surfaces, are the most important. Later Barron and Marshall found that the
louder the sound is, and the higher the proportion of lateral sound, the greater is
the perceived source broadening. Later investigations by Morimoto and Maekwa
and by Soulodre and Bradley showed that there are two such spatial effects occurring, both stemming from lateral reflections: the early sound gives a sense of
source broadening and the later reflections create a sense by the listener of being
enveloped in sound (Barron). This sense of being inside the sound is believed to
have an importance in pop and rock venues too, at least for the musicians and
probably also the audience. This is discussed further in Chap.5. Both source
broadening and envelopment are connected to the term spaciousness listed in
Table2.1.
Marshall Long lists in his book eight parameters concerning the listening environment itself in halls for music. Later Barron investigated different acoustic
spaces in detail, but halls for amplified music do not occupy a specific chapter as
do acoustics for synagogues or music practice rooms, for example. He notes that
in halls for music:
The audience should feel enveloped or surrounded by sound. This requires
strong lateral reflections with a significant fraction arriving from the side.
The room should support instrumental sound by providing a reverberant field
whose duration depends on the type of music being played. A reverberation
time that rises with deceasing frequency below 500Hz yields a pleasant sense
of musical warmth.1
There must be clarity and definition in the rapid musical passages so that they
can be appreciated in detail. This requires reflections from supporting surfaces

1 In

order to avoid any misunderstanding it is pointed out that the higher value of reverberation
time at low frequencies proposed here (and in many other textbooks on room acoustics) which
some people find beneficial for classical music is the worst enemy of the acoustics for pop and
rock music. This is derived in Chap.5. Furthermore, the PA speaker system is responsible for
carrying out the sound at amplified music concerts, not the hall itself, therefore the loudness factor is generally not important in halls for pop and rock music.

Auditorium Acoustics: Terms, Language, and Concepts

29

located close to the source or the receiver so that the initial time delay gap is
short.
Sound must have adequate loudness that is evenly distributed throughout the
hall. When the number of seats becomes excessive (above 2,600 seats), loudness and definition are reduced. In small auditoria the loudness must not be
overbearing.
A wide bandwidth must be supported. Musical instruments generate sounds
from 30 to 12,000Hz which is much broader than the speech spectrum. The
room must not colour the natural spectrum of the music.
The detailed reverberation characteristics of the space should be well controlled with a smooth reverberant tail and no echoes, shadowing coloration or
other defects.
The performers should have the ability to hear each other clearly and to receive
from the space a reverberant return that is close to that experienced by the
audience.
Noise from exterior sources and mechanical equipment must be controlled so
that the quietest instrumental sound can be heard.

The above-mentioned subjective parameters are at any given listener position


affected by the general design of the classical music hall. Some of these general
perspectives are, of course, hall size, hall shape, interior geometry, hall volume,
surface materials, balconies and overhangs, seating, and platforms. This is discussed with respect to the design of pop and rock venues in Chap.6.

Objective Parameters
Various objective parameters, other than reverberation time and EDT, have been
defined in an attempt to better describe sound in rooms. The following objective
parameters are commonly used and have been shown to be in good agreement
with some of the subjective parameters mentioned above.

EDT, Reverberation Time, Liveliness, and Reverberance


Ever since it was defined by Sabine, reverberation time has been the single most
important objective acoustic parameter. Whether targeting a reverberation time for
an empty hall or a hall with an audience, the reverberation time is the parameter that
rooms and halls are designed from based on knowledge of absorption coefficients
of different building materials, the volume of the hall, and its purpose. Furthermore,
in room acoustics with computer modeling programs including Odeon and Catt
among others, more precise calculations can be undertaken by including the modeling of how the sound waves behave in their meeting with surfaces in a room. The

30

2 Auditorium Acoustics: Terms, Language, and Concepts

reverberation time is defined by a 60-dB decay and the measurement of it is (as earlier mentioned) based on a 30-dB decay from 5 to 35dB or even a 20-dB decay.
The early decay time is an expression of reverberation time but based on the
decay from 0 to 10dB and has proven to be better correlated with a test persons judgment of reverberation than T30. A 60-dB, or even a 30-dB, decay is
rarely encountered in music because new notes will be played before one gets
a chance to hear the full decay of the first note. Although pop and rock music
can be highly percussive and syncopated with at least a loud and clear backbeat
on the snare drum and a usually somewhat less pronounced downbeat on bass
and bass drum, a full 60-dB decay will be seldom encountered. Even an isolated
30-dB decay from 5 to 35dB is not often heard because it will be masked by
other sounds, and therefore EDT is a good descriptor of reverberance which is
the term used to describe the subjective experience of reverberation. The term
running reverberation is used for EDT and describes the liveness, or liveliness,
of the room.
If the full decay in a hall is perfectly linear, the EDT and T30 are the same.
EDT is heavily dependent on position in the room where T30 is more stable. It
can be very short, for instance, under balconies and the like, where the strongest
reflections come from large surfaces close to the microphone that do not form the
actual room. In such places the decay tail will be steep in its first stage and thereafter flatten out and attain a value in accordance with the T30 of the room. This
effect is also called the coupled rooms effect inasmuch as the first part of the decay
takes the shape of the closest room with a short reverberation time but dies out
in an adjacent room that also has been acoustically evoked and has a longer reverberation. Its easily comprehended by clapping ones hands once in an acoustically quite dead room close to an open door that leads to a room with more lively
acoustics.
EDT is the best objective parameter describing a listeners judgment of reverberance while the music is playing. Therefore a room with a seemingly too long
T30 may actually be acceptable if the EDT is shorter. This is one reason why the
ratio EDT:T30 is relevant. Furthermore the ratio is a measure for the diffuseness of
a room. If the sound in a room is very well diffused the ratio should be close to 1
because a diffuse room is characterized by a linear decay. As a matter of fact it has
been shown that a longer reverberation time than expected can be accepted for a
room for music if the room is well diffused. In a room design where early energy
is directed towards the rear of the hall the ratio is often smaller than 1.

C80, D50, Early Reflections, Clarity, and Intimacy


The early reflections have been found to have an important influence on our
impression of reflected sound as containing the qualities of clarity and intimacy.
Therefore a parameter describing spaces with early reflections compared to later
reflections is a measure of these qualities. Objective clarity is simply the ratio of

C80, D50, Early Reflections, Clarity, and Intimacy

31

early to late sound energy at a given position. The most common measure is C80
for which, as the name indicates, the cut between early and late energy is made
at 80ms; sound arriving before this is considered as early whereas energy that
arrives later is defined as late energy. But other definitions are used such as D50,
where 50 refers to the cut being applied at 50ms and D is called definition (in
German: deutlichkeit). Pop and rock music are often highly syncopated musical
genres where even 50ms seems to be too high a value when noting that sound
travels 17m in 50ms or 8m to a reflective surface and 8m back. It has therefore
been suggested by the author to investigate shorter time spans.
According to Barron there is evidence that the ears response to low tones in
the 125- and 250-Hz octave bands is slow, wherefore objective clarity is usually
calculated as an average of the 500-, 1-k, and 2-kHz bands. As shown in Chap.5,
bass clarity is indeed of importance in pop and rock music although the objective characterization can be of another type than the C80 or D50 parameters at low
tones. Objective clarity is a fraction and is expressed in dB. Clarity is inversely
proportional to reverberation.

LF, Envelopment, and Lateral Reflections


Reflections from vertical boundaries such as walls are of importance in order for
listeners to obtain a sensation of being enveloped in sound. It has been found that
particularly the later-arriving lateral reflections are the ones most responsible for
this sensation. It is believed that also in pop and rock music especially the performers but probably the audience as well want this acoustic attribute although
there has been no specific study made to witness this. It is a fact though that at
least some sound engineers prefer clarity to a degree where almost no envelopment can be apparent. The lateral energy fraction in dB is measured with two
microphones, one being a figure-eight microphone directed with its zero towards
the source and the other being an omnidirectional microphone. The fraction
of these two gives an idea of how much sound energy comes from the sides. Of
course another way of more rapidly and less precisely finding out about these
attributes is simply to take notice of whether the side walls of a room are heavily
absorptive or whether the ceiling is relatively low compared to the width of the
room. Lateral fraction (LF) is a ratio and is unitless. Envelopment is proportional
to reverberation.

G, Strength, and Room Gain


At unamplified concerts the hall alone must bring forward the sound to a degree
where the audience even in the back of the hall experiences an appropriate sound
level of the acoustic information brought forward from the stage. On the contrary,

32

2 Auditorium Acoustics: Terms, Language, and Concepts

in smaller recital halls a large orchestra playing fortissimo (very loud) will sound
too loud and the loudness of the room becomes overwhelming. The objective
measure for the acoustic gain of a room is called strength with the symbol G. G is
also known as the room gain.
G of a hall equals the ratio between the SPL of an omnidirectional sound
source at a calibrated level at 10m distance from the source, and the same source,
at the same level, at the same distance in an anechoic room.
According to theory, the value of G decreases by 3dB by doubling the total
absorption in the space. The absorption in concert halls is not measured directly
and therefore the room gain is computed from the ratio of the reverberation time
and the volume of the hall. This makes it clear that increasing the reverberation
time of a hall also makes it louder and vice versa. The strength of the reverberant
field is often of interest and is denoted Glate.
As mentioned earlier, G is not of importance in halls for amplified music
because the speaker system is dimensioned to provide enough level although a certain room gain may be beneficial in the 63-Hz band. In overly dampened halls for
amplified music, delay speakers must be applied supplementary to the main PA
system in order to make up for the sound energy being lost rapidly as it propagates through the hall. This seems like an undesirable design, wasting resources.
Of course delay speakers may advantageously be used in very long halls. G is proportional to reverberation.

Bass Ratio, Warmth, and Bass Response


Some people prefer a rise in low-frequency (LF) reverberation time in halls for
symphonic music so that at 125Hz a value of a factor of up to 1.4 times that at
mid-frequencies is attained. Evidently this will increase the level of the bass or
at least guarantee that the musicians playing the low tones do not have to play
unnaturally loud to achieve an acceptable level and blend. Indeed a large number
of double-bass players are needed in very large orchestras in order to achieve a
sufficient sound level. The rise should in any case bring a sense of warmth to
the music preferred by some. The warmth parameter was suggested by Leo L.
Beranek and used by John OKeafe, for instance.
Beranek has proposed the parameter Bass Ratio computed as BR=(T125+T250)/
(T500+T1k).
In pop and rock music there is a much higher level in the 63-Hz band compared
to classical music. But as it turns out, the reverberation time in the 63-Hz band can
be justified longer here than in the 125-Hz octave band, also in halls for amplified
music. In the appendix of this book two different BR are calculated, one exclusively including the 125-Hz band versus mid-frequencies and one also including
the 63-Hz band versus middle frequencies. Other BRs can be calculated depending
on what is being investigated. In pop and rock music the 250-Hz band is not really
perceived as bass but rather as a mid-low range.

Bass Ratio, Warmth, and Bass Response

33

Similarly, the BR can also be defined from the strength G instead of reverberation time, thus referring to the sound in the steady-state condition instead of the
decaying sound. Some researchers find this BR more relevant for a concert hall.

ST, Support, and Ensemble


The stage parameter support was suggested by Gade in the 1980s. The support
parameter ST describes the sound energy returning to the musicians on stage.
Sklevik has gathered information about acoustic parameters on his website:
STearly The early, reflected 20100-ms sound energy level relative to the initial
010ms direct sound, measured at 1.0m from an omnidirectional source.
STlate The late, reflected 1001,000-ms sound energy level relative to the initial
010-ms direct sound, measured at 1.0m from an omnidirectional source.
The early support, STearly, is now commonly used to describe the degree of
mutual hearing, also referred to as ensemble, on stage. On most stages the early
reflected energy is expected to contain sound from the whole ensemble as well as
the musicians own instrument.
The late support describes the degree to which the musician hears the late
reverberant sound. ST late is suggested as a descriptor of the performers subjective reverberance. Singers often appreciate hearing their own voices filling the
auditorium and they often prefer high STlate values. STlate is almost solely determined by the ratio between RT and volume of the hall.
However, one should take the balance STlateSTearly into account, because if
STlate is high compared to other halls, the late reverberant sound may still appear
weak if STearly is also very high. If this balance is too low (say3dB) musicians may feel that the stage is acoustically decoupled from the auditorium.
This may be the result when introducing a canopy that is too low and too dense.
Likewise, it seems evident that theSTearly value should be considered in relation to
STlate. If there is not enough early sound compared to late, the musician may feel
not in touch with his or her instrument and this can harm his or her timing. Mutual
hearing conditions on a stage cant be fully measured or predictedwith an omnidirectional source on an empty stage because instruments do not radiate sound
omnidirectionally and because musicians have an impact on the acoustics on stage
both in terms of absorption but also because they block the sound propagation. For
symphonic music Christopher Blair notes: The art of designing good on-stage
acoustics boils down to providing just enough early energy to help with coordination, but not so much as to mask audibility of the late-energy room response.
This parameter indeed also has relevance for amplified music. More support on
stage from the immediate surroundings in a given hall lowers the need for loud
monitor speaker levels and gives the musicians a feeling of being more enveloped
in sound from their own and their colleagues instruments, rather than that stemming from the PA system and reflecting surfaces farther away. This is of major

34

2 Auditorium Acoustics: Terms, Language, and Concepts

importance for the musicians to enjoy the hall in general. The author finds that the
acoustics must be similar on stage to that of the audience area, and that these two
spaces must not be acoustically separated. This will automatically lead to louder
early reflections than later reflections as perceived by the musicians because of the
distance law (sound level decays over distance). In other terms, STearly must be
stronger than STlate. This is sometimes a challenge to achieve inasmuch as sound
engineers especially (definitely no musicians) want the stage dead to easily handle
feedback and the like. This is dealt with in more detail in later chapters.
Late support is proportional to reverberation.

Chapter 3

Reinforcement of Sound Sources

One of the things that characterize pop and rock music is that most sound sources
have to be reinforced (amplified). This either because the initial balance between
the different instruments acoustic sound is problematic (especially in small venues), or because a too-low sound level leads to the sound not being engaging for
the public (larger venues). An acoustic drum set produces very high sound levels
in excess of 100-dB SPL several meters away from it in a small venue. Therefore
other more quiet sources, such as the vocal, need to be amplified. In bigger venues, as with most of the halls described in this book, the sound level for the
audience is too low altogether without amplification of all instruments. A sound
engineer takes care of creating a mix of the various instruments that is amplified and made audible to the audience and him- or herself through the PA (public
address) loudspeakers. The mixing board position is sometimes referred to as the
front of house (FOH). The layout of a typical amplified concert is seen in Fig.3.1.
The art of mixing reinforced performances begins with finding a balance between
instruments that makes the entire band sound as much as possible like one instrument. If the band produces a beautiful sound and its musicians play well together,
as do most professional orchestras, mixing is made easier. This chapter discusses
sound system design mainly to the extent where it has an impact on the room
acoustical design. The more precisely the PA sound can be aimed at the audience
and not onto reflecting wall and ceiling surfaces, the less will reverberation be
evoked.
On stage, the musicians also need reinforcement to be able to hear themselves
and each other well. Earlier, monitor loudspeakers were relied on exclusively to
create the extra sound needed on stage, but since the 1990s in-ear monitoring has
become popular. With in-ear monitoring musicians can move around on stage
without getting away from the sound of directional monitors and thereby losing track of the music. An attempt to achieve the same effect with open monitor
speakers has been to provide the stage with so-called side-fill monitors, placed
on the sides of the stage. Another just as important feature of in-ear monitoring is though, that the excess of sound sources is limited greatly, reducing the

N. W. Adelman-Larsen, Rock and Pop Venues, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-45236-9_3,


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3 Reinforcement of Sound Sources

36
Sub-speaker

Drum kit
s
mp

Side field
speaker

Monitor
speaker

amp
Ke

ra

ita

Gu

Bass

yb

Mic

Lead vocal mic


Monitor
speaker

oa

rds

Monitor
mixerboard
Side field
speaker

Mic

Monitor
speaker

PA bass
speaker

Monitor
speaker
PA bass
speaker

PA
speakers

PA
speakers

Critical distance
Mixer board

Delay speaker

Delay speaker

Fig.3.1Schematic layout for a pop/rock concert. Delay speakers are only needed in very long
halls, under balconies, and so on

Reinforcement of Sound Sources

37

amount of unwanted sound in open microphones. This helps the sound engineer
in producing a clean mix. Each musician usually needs an individual mix and
an empathic monitor sound engineer is crucial for the band to feel good during a
concert.
The sound system by itself (the whole chain from microphones, mixing consoles, and amplifiers to the loudspeakers) usually by itself amplifies some frequencies more than others, and this is also true for a room if it does not have
a flat reverberation time curve across all frequency bands. The combined
uneven response of this complete system (sound system and room) is often
equalized levelwise in, for instance, third octaves with the use of a parametric
called house-EQ or by use of, for instance, combinations of IIR and FIR filters. (As with any equalization there are consequences for the phase response
of the loudspeaker sound and therefore the more untouched the house-EQ can
be left the better). The FOH engineer will further equalize each instrument to
sound right according to his and the bands taste in order to create a mix where
no instrument heavily masks other instruments and also to avoid even some
frequency bands of one instrument masking other frequencies of that same
instrument. Every frequency band of each instrument has been allocated an
appropriate shelf in the mix. A transparent mix is created. Sound engineering
can truly be an art form.
It is important to note that this equalization has no impact on the actual room
acoustics. The room acoustic properties are a product of the surface materials of
the room and the way they are assembled, and the geometry of the room as well
as the interior including chairs, audience, and so on. The room acoustics cannot be changed by electronic means. But if the whole sound-chain, as described
above, is evened out levelwise and all instruments have found their appropriate
place in the mix, then why do we need to worry about room acoustics? That is
because of the duration of the reflected sound. The reverberation time of the hall
is evidently not altered by the electronic equalization. The challenge lies in the
time-domain, not the level-domain. And when some frequencies are dying out
too slowly, then this reflected remaining sound will (1) partially mask the direct
sound of all instruments in that frequency domain, making them appear unarticulated and thereby destroying the core message that those instruments are trying
to get across; and (2) partially mask wanted reverberant sound in other frequency
ranges. The typical example, of course, here being rumbling, late bass reflections.
Then why dont we just create halls with as little reverberation as possible and
boost the levels accordingly by amplification? The answer to this is briefly, that
concerts in such acoustics are a dull experience. In Chap.5 it is shown, that a too
long or a too short reverberation time spoils the sound experience for musicians,
sound engineers, and most important, the audience. There is a narrow window,
the recommended reverberation time, which depends on hall size and frequency,
that allows for the greatest satisfaction for musicians and audiences attending the
concert.

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3 Reinforcement of Sound Sources

The Sound of a Rock Band


Typically pop and rock music is characterized, among many ingredients, by its
percussive nature. In pop and rock the low frequencies are also percussive. An
active bass line supported by a syncopated bass drum is the basic recipe of almost
any pop song. Professional rhythm sections have a very well-articulated beat. A
few hundredths of a second of difference in bass tone duration or point of attack
can easily make or break the grooving, swinging sensation of a bass line. Thats
one very basic message that rock and pop musicians are trying to get across to the
listener. The entire band respects this structure and supports it in their every phrasing. The audiences as well as the musicians perception of this core message is
made difficult when reverberation causes a tone not to stop when it is supposed to,
thereby blurring the percussive articulation of the music.
What we want at pop/rock concerts, on the other hand, is among other things
the excitement of having the loud bass sound vibrating our body. In fact it has been
shown by psychologists that bass sounds louder than some 90-dB SPL trigger a
sensation of pleasure in human beings (Todd et al. 2000). And pleasure is a desirable feeling. Bass levels have been brought up significantly over the last decades
along with the development of speaker systems that in a practical way can produce
such levels. Our sensation of low-frequency tones is as much a physical experience
(body parts vibrate and the tones also transmit vibrational low-frequency energy
direct to our middle and inner ear) as it is actual hearing airborne sound through our
outer ears. Loud bass sound simply sounds and feels right in many musical subgenres within the amplified music idiom. And without it, it would hardly be regarded a
pop/rock live concert experience any more. Certainly the sound engineer will EQ
each instrument to obtain an open transparent mix where one instrument does not
cast shadows over the others spectrally. Each instrument gets its own shelf in the
complete mix as mentioned. But the total mix must incorporate quite a loud level
of bass sound, primarily stemming from the bass guitar and bass drum, but also
keyboards, guitars, male voice, and so on. So unlike the situation of mixing a male
speaker, where rolling off the bass on the EQ is an obvious option, a rock concert
simply has to contain loud bass levels for it to be perceived a real rock concert.
Evidently, if a hall has a long RT at low frequencies the loud levels of bass sound
will lead to loud reverberant bass sound. This reverberant low-frequency sound has,
as mentioned, a tendency to partially mask direct sound (both at low and mid frequency), and hereby the core message of the music, the beat and the text, is lost.
In fact, in Chap.5, this is proven scientifically: halls with a low RT at low frequencies are considered the best. A high reverberation time at mid frequencies can also
be problematic but because the loudspeakers are much more directional at these
frequencies, the sound can be directed onto the audience who absorb the midhifrequency sound to a large extent. In Chap.1 it was shown how the audience
does not absorb low frequencies, even if we do try to direct the low-frequency
sound towards them. In Fig.3.2 some typical Leq values in the octave bands from
31.5Hz8kHz from concerts of amplified music are shown. These are average values

The Sound of a Rock Band

39

Fig.3.2Averaged Leq values of 15 rock and pop acts measured in one hall

of 15 different pop and rock bands each playing about three songs in the same indoor
venue at a band contest, as measured by Rosenberg in Denmark 2013.

Providing Amplified Direct Sound from Loudspeakers


Jens Jrgen Dammerud
The intention with a sound system is to provide sufficiently loud and clear sound
for all audience members. The total sound includes both the direct sound from the
loudspeakers and the rooms reflections of this direct sound. The level balance
between direct sound and reflected sound affects the sound quality perceived by
the audience. This level balance depends on four major factors:
The directivity of the direct sound from the loudspeakers
Interference of direct sound waves from several loudspeakers or between loudspeakers and sound reflected by surfaces close to loudspeakers or listeners
The sound-absorbing properties of the audience
The acoustic properties of the room
At mid and high frequencies significant loudspeaker directivity, audience absorption, and favorable acoustic properties of the room are easily achieved. When using
more than one loudspeaker (which is almost always the case) there will often be
interference between the loudspeakers that will result in low direct sound at certain locations within the audience area. The locations of dark spots of direct
sound (low levels) vary with frequency (Fig.3.7). Low direct sound levels within
the frequency area of 5004000Hz are considered crucial regarding perceived
definition/intelligibility (Davis and Patronis 2006). At low frequencies there are
significant challenges regarding all four factors. This section concerning amplified direct sound focuses on the two top factors in the above listing: achieving
directivity and avoiding significant interference.

40

3 Reinforcement of Sound Sources

Single Point Sources


If using only one loudspeaker the most common way to achieve directivity is to
install a horn in front of the radiating loudspeaker membrane. The loudspeaker
will function here as one point source. A horn also improves the efficiency of the
loudspeaker, which means louder sound for the same effect provided to the loudspeaker. A horn will provide better directivity as long as the horn is sufficiently
long compared to the wavelength. Some subwoofer models have a coiled horn
inside the loudspeaker enclosure. At low frequencies the horn is often not long
enough to provide significant directivity, but the horn improves the efficiency.
Loudspeakers that are not extremely large have problems generating low-frequency
sound at high levels without a horn construction attached.
Some loudspeakers are made very directional at higher frequencies, much like
a megaphone, with Q values being typically 1020 (Q=1 being omnidirectional).
The high Q value helps keep the level of reflected sound at a minimum, whereby
a good balance between direct and reflected sound can be maintained at larger
distances. Such loudspeakers are often referred to as long-throwing. The directivity also helps reduce direct sound-level variations at different distances; the loudspeaker is normally oriented in such a way that on-axis is pointed towards the
farthest listener. The direct sound level is normally highest on-axis allowing the
directivity to counteract the inverse-square law dictating the direct sound level of
a single point sound to drop 6dB if the distance to the loudspeaker is doubled
(or correspondingly a 20-dB drop with 10 times longer distance). For listeners
far away from the stage an additional speaker can be introduced that is close to
these listeners. This will help avoid a too-low direct sound level for these listeners.
Due to the speed of sound being 343ms (at 20C) this new loudspeaker will play
ahead of the original loudspeaker close to the stage. Approximately 3ms delay
is introduced for each meter of separation between the speakers. To get the loudspeakers to act closer to each other in time, a time delay is normally introduced
to the loudspeaker close to listeners at the far distance. Hence the name delayspeaker is used. For large arenas it is a great challenge to synchronize all sources,
to avoid some speakers acting more like reflected sound rather than direct sound.

Virtual Point Sources


To achieve the wanted directivity at mid and high frequencies, desired sound levels, and some directivity at lower frequencies, it is normal to put several loudspeakers close to each other, called loudspeaker clusters. The intention of such a
constellation of loudspeakers is that the loudspeakers together operate as one single source, referred to as a virtual point source (see Fig.3.8a). Such clusters also
make it practical to adjust the total direct sound coverage by varying the number
of loudspeakers in the cluster. The loudspeaker is arranged here in such a way that
the on-axis lines of the speakers meet in one point in space behind the speakers.

Virtual Point Sources

41

This creates coherent sound originating from a virtual single point in space;
the loudspeakers are in-phase and related to each other and are said to couple.
A virtual point source corresponds to using several torches (directional point
light sources) to light up several spots in the dark. Due to the physical separation
between the speakers and the speed of sound, it is difficult to achieve coherent
sound at all frequencies. At high and mid frequencies the difference in distance
to the different loudspeakers is significant compared to the wavelength. The total
direct sound will be more or less out of phase (with a phase difference of 180 the
waves will cancel each other out if the waves have equal levels). Such interference, so-called comb filtering, will result in constructive and destructive summation of the sound waves that create large variations of the total direct sound level
provided by the virtual point source. The interference results in both spatial-level
variations at a single frequency and spectral variations at a single location. The
spatial variations lead to what are often referred to as side lobes (see more details
below). Such side lobes can appear in both the vertical or horizontal plane depending on the arrangement of the loudspeaker cluster. Horizontally stacked speakers
will result in interference in the horizontal plane and vice versa. At a single position the comb filtering can result in large variations of sound levels at different
frequencies. The problem with such constructive and destructive interference,
depending on location and frequency, is that the direct sound level within the audience does not show a consistent level and spectral balance. Additionally, the side
lobes will often point in directions away from the audience and will contribute to
increasing the level of reflected sound. With good directivity control for the individual speakers there will be only small overlapping regions of significant interference because the individual speakers will provide direct sound within their own
angle sectors (solid angle). But the directivity pattern will normally vary with frequency, making it virtually impossible to find one angle between the loudspeaker
cabinets that leads to maximum separation at all frequencies. This frequencydependent overlap and unavoidable interference is one problem associated with
virtual point sources.

Directional Subwoofer Arrays


At low frequencies interference can be employed to create directivity by use of
several omnidirectional speakers, for example, the cardioid subs configuration,
named after the directivity the subwoofers are intended to produce when placed
together. Sound waves oscillate with both positive and negative amplitude within
their cycle of repetition (one period). If two sources interfere with equal amplitude value but opposite polarity they can in principle fully cancel each other out.
This can be used to obtain little sound emission at the rear of the speakers, thus
achieving significant directivity. This directivity is achieved at the expense of
reduced efficiency and total sound level, because portions of the radiated sound
are ancelled out.

42

3 Reinforcement of Sound Sources

Fig.3.3Directional subwoofer configurations, with vertically stacked cardioid subs shown on


the left and the horizontally stacked end fire configuration shown on the right. The cardioid pattern shown for the end fire configuration is idealized; in practice there will be some lowfrequency radiation towards the rear

Figure 3.3 shows two ways to accomplish directivity with three subwoofers stacked or spread out horizontally (the prior called cardioid sub and the latter called end fire). Due to the relatively low speed of sound waves the physical
separation between the acoustic centers of the subwoofers introduces some sort
of phase-shift (increasing with separation distance and frequency). By adding
individual delays to the speakers the added phase-shift can be compensated for to
result in coherent sound waves either towards the front (audience) or towards the
back. The left approach in Fig.3.3 aims at having fully synchronized sound waves
towards the front (right side in the figure), with one subwoofer having reversed
polarity resulting in maximum cancellation in this direction. The approach to the
right in Fig.3.3 (end fire) aims at fully synchronized waves towards the front
(audience; right side in the figure) with significant delays between the subwoofers towards the rear. An important distinction between the cardioid and end fire
configurations is that the end fire configuration does not lead to a full cancellation
towards the back. The cancellation towards the back is more frequency dependent with end fire. The benefit with end fire is that efficiency in the front direction
is higher, because the sound waves here are fully coherent. In addition to higher
efficiency towards the audience, the fully synchronized sound with the end fire
configuration will often lead to a more distinct bass sound experience, which can
be crucial for certain musical genres. The physical horizontal separation between
the acoustic centers of the subwoofers is indicated with arrows in Fig.3.3.
As an example, a 1.5-m separation will lead to an approximately 4.5-ms delay
between the two emitted sound waves. For the end fire case 4.5-ms delay on the
mid subwoofer and 9-ms delay on the front subwoofer will provide synchronized
in-phase sound towards the right. The signals sent to the loudspeakers are normally exact copies, which means the signals are in principle perfectly correlated
and in-phase (coherent) relative to each other. The signals/waves match each other
perfectly and result in high levels for the audience. Towards the rear there will now
be a 4.5 and 9-ms delay. Acoustically a 9-ms delay will lead to the two emitted

Directional Subwoofer Arrays

43

waves being 180 out of phase if the cycle of the oscillating signal is 18-ms. Using
the formula f=1/T, one cycle, or period, of 6-ms is found to correspond to 56Hz.
This will result in significantly reduced levels towards the back in the lower bass.
For the vertically stacked case the cancellation towards the rear will in principle
exist at all frequencies due to the polarity reversal. A 1-m separation will result in
an approximately 3-ms delay between the sources in the front direction. This will
lead to a wave cancellation at 167Hz which is normally above the frequency band
for the subwoofer and hence does not represent a problem.
A challenge with the cardioid configuration can be to match the compensating
delay exactly with the physical separation of the subwoofers. The location of the
acoustic center of the subwoofer can vary with frequency, making it difficult, if
not impossible, to find one delay setting that suits all frequencies. Failure to match
delay and physical separation fully can result in significant radiation backwards
within certain frequency bands, that can represent a problem, for instance, for the
musicians on stage. All pass filters can be used here to make phase adjustments
at specific frequencies. Another challenge is the phase relation between the subwoofers and the main system (e.g., a line array) in the crossover frequency region
(typically around 125160Hz). This challenge applies to all subwoofer systems.

Split Mono Systems


Instead of one central cluster above the middle of the stage front it is common to
operate with speakers at each side of the stage. A true stereo experience will exist
only close to the center line with close to equal distance to the speaker clusters,
and in reality sound engineers use only very little panning of instruments between
left and right speakers. For listeners close to one side the sound from the closest speaker cluster will dominate leading to the impression that all loudspeaker
sound is coming from that side of the stage. It is therefore more representative to
look at the stereo system as a split mono system, where the left cluster provides
mono sound for the listeners at the left side of the audience center line. Close to
the center line the audience will experience some interference because the levels
from the two sides are very similar whereas there is some delay between the direct
sound from the different sides. Such interference along the center line is inevitable
and can exist in a large area if the loudspeakers do not have significant directivity.
The upper picture in Fig.3.4 shows the horizontal variation of the direct sound
level at 120Hz for a split mono configuration based on an omnidirectional source.
In the dark regions for the split mono case the direct sound level is very low. This
type of interference also creates a directivity pattern with side lobes; in certain
directions off-axis (not directly in front of the sound system) there are high levels
(with low levels between). At the center line the two sources are coherent or close
to being coherent (in-phase). At the sides of the center line the delay between the
two sound waves is significant, leading to cancellation. Due to the long wavelength at 120Hz, the lobes occupy large angle sectors; at higher frequencies the

44

3 Reinforcement of Sound Sources

Fig.3.4Split mono (top) and line subwoofer (bottom) configuration. The stage is indicated with
a black rectangle

distances between dark and hot spots will be reduced. Significant directivity at
higher frequencies also helps isolate the left from the right side. A more spatially
dense interference pattern, directivity, and psychoacoustic effects make such interference less of a problem at mid and high frequencies.
A strategy to reduce the level variation for close to omnidirectional subwoofers is to introduce more sources on a line across the stage front. If the separation
distance between the subwoofers is less than /2 for all relevant frequencies, the
line of subwoofers will operate as a line source, leading to a reduced loss of sound
level versus distance (see below). The increased number of sources with different
mutual delays helps avoid all sources being out of phase at a single position. This
line configuration of subwoofers under the stage is shown in Fig.3.4 (bottom).
By adjusting the delay between the subwoofers, the subwoofers will instead
appear as a curved line, leading to a directivity that better suits the audience area
(avoiding high levels and fully coherent sound right in front of the subwoofers and
significant level drop towards the sides). By applying a frequency-dependent level
reduction on the outmost subwoofers, negative side lobes can be avoided. Such
a strategy of delaying and level-adjusting the line of speakers to create a wanted
directivity is called delay-shading.
Some reflections (preferably early) can help avoid very low total sound levels
(dark spots) while maintaining sufficient clarity of sound, which is an example
of the beneficial effects of reflected sound. At low frequencies standing wave

Split Mono Systems

45

patterns instead of discrete reflections will be most relevant, particularly for small
rooms. When using reflected sound to reduce level variations, the level balance
between early and late reflected sound may be a crucial property of the reflected
sound.

Line Arrays
Line array systems, shown in Fig.3.8b can cover larger source-to-receiver distances than point source clusters. They also maintain a significant vertical directivity with relatively little destructive comb filtering between the speakers in the
array. The frequency area of significant directivity will depend on the array length;
longer arrays result in a more broadband and more low-frequency directivity control. All the loudspeakers constituting the array will be very close to being perfectly in-phase and coherent directly in front of the array. To achieve an effective
line array the separation between the loudspeakers must be least than /2 for a
point source array. At high frequencies wave guides are often employed to achieve
a continuous line source effectively without significant separation between the
sources. This means that most conventional line arrays function as close to real
line sources at high frequencies but only as coupled point sources at mid and low
frequencies. Good and even coverage of audience segments at various distances
from the stage especially in large venues or at outdoor concerts is achievable
with line array systems. Avoiding too many speakers in the array while ensuring
a very precise suspension will ensure that sound does not propagate, for instance,
directly onto the rear wall of the hall. The horizontal directivity is in rough terms
approximately the same as for each single loudspeaker in the array, although not
exactly the same due to the vertical separation between the sources. The high
degree of coherence makes it easier to achieve high total sound levels without having to drive each individual loudspeaker at the maximum tolerable level
(speaker overheating or distorting). For a typical line array the desired directivity
is achieved through both the construction of the loudspeaker and the array itself.
A second very advantageous bonus is that the direct sound-level reduction can be
3dB instead of 6dB per doubling of distance (Fig.3.5). This helps maintain a
high ratio of direct to reflected sound for listeners at far distances. The key factors that control 3dB instead of 6dB reduction per distance doubling are the distance to the line array and the length of the line array. Line arrays are typically
110m long leading to the array not being long compared to the wavelength at
low frequencies, leading to the array functioning more like a point source. At far
distances the array will appear more as a single point source. Line arrays are therefore most efficient at producing directional direct sound with a 3-dB drop per doubling distance mainly at mid and high frequencies in the vicinity of the array. The
longer arrays are consequently effective line sources in a larger frequency and distance range. Equation(3.1) from Davis and Patronis (2006) can be used to calculate the limiting frequency f for an effective line source depending on the listeners

3 Reinforcement of Sound Sources

46

Fig.3.5Line array for providing direct sound to the audience

Fig.3.6Main lobe and side lobes for uniform line arrays seen from the side. The side lobes here
are vertical

distance to the array d and the length of the array (L). The constant c in Eq.(3.1) is
the speed of sound (343ms at 20C).

2cd
L2

(3.1)

Bending the array converts it more to a virtual point source with a 6-dB drop
per distance doubling. This is useful to reduce the direct sound levels for the audience close to the stage; see Fig.3.5. With long line arrays constituting many loudspeakers, the problematic interference associated with virtual point sources is
often less significant due to the large number of sources (comparable to the situations in Fig.3.4). But off-axis line arrays based on feeding the same signal to
all the loudspeakers within the array (uniform arrays) will often show significant
side lobes in their vertical directivity in mid and high frequencies, as illustrated
a bit exaggerated in Fig.3.6. By feeding individual signals to each loudspeaker,

Line Arrays

47

125 Hz

250Hz

500Hz

1 kHz

2 kHz

4 kHz

Fig.3.7Direct sound coverage plots for different octave bands for a hypothetical venue.
Audience area plus right side wall (left) and ceiling (right). (Plots courtesy of Brd Stfringsdal)

with customized levels and delays, side lobes can be reduced, but at some expense
of how the line array behaves as an effective line source (3-, not 6-dBlevel drop
per distance doubling). One example of such a strategy is CBT systems (constant
beamwidth transducers; Keele 2002).

48

3 Reinforcement of Sound Sources

Fig.3.8Main loudspeaker
system design principles: a
point source clusters and b
line arrays

It is worth noting that such side lobes will exist only in the vertical plane for
normal line array configurations. The array consists of vertically stacked speakers
and seen from above the array will be close to behaving like a point source horizontally. In the horizontal plane there is normally less spatial interference although
the line source cannot fully be seen as one coherent source horizontally. For line
arrays close to the side walls there can be a problem with wall reflections providing significant interference on the direct sound as for a virtual point source.
Examples of calculated direct sound coverage and examples of point source
and line source loudspeaker cabinets are shown in Figs.3.7 and 3.8, respectively.

Chapter 4

Assessments of 20 Halls

In this chapter the 20 halls that were assessed for the recommendations in the paper
Suitable Reverberation Times for Halls for Rock and Pop Music are presented. All
measurements were made in 2005 and since then many of the halls have been refurbished or rebuilt. For each hall there is a photo, a scaled drawing, and the subjective
ratings and objective measurement results are presented as well. There is the T30 curve
as a function of frequency of the measurement in the empty hall with an omnidirectional loudspeaker. In the halls where there was a preinstalled PA system available,
measurements were also made with that as a source and the T30 curve deriving from
these measurements is presented in the same diagram. An estimated T30 including a
densely packed audience is also presented in the diagram. The estimate is based on the
omnisource measurements, the floor area available for the audience, and the coefficients
from Fig. 1.16. SD stands for standard deviation. St. stands for stage, and ratings relates
to the musicians whereas Aud. stands for audience and relates to sound engineers ratings and the audience area. The T30 diagrams stretch down to only the 63-Hz third
octave band whereas the EDT and D50 diagrams include the entire 63-Hz octave band.
The bass ratio is calculated as the average T30 in the 63- and 125-Hz octave bands to the
average T30 in the 0.52kHz octave bands. Other acoustical data are self-explanatory.
In the drawings, the symbol for PA speaker is
And for the omnisource the symbol is
Microphone positions are indicated with the symbol
and the sound engineers position is denoted RSG.
The subjective ratings are shown for both musicians and sound engineers. The
ratings are commented on by the author inasmuch as in some incidents they do
not agree with what would be expected from the objective data of the hall. These
comments are only to be regarded as speculation. Nevertheless it can be valuable
information when designing a hall for pop and rock music.
Some information on constructive details such as building materials used is
included for each hall. The capacity of the hall refers to the number of standing
audience members that the hall houses.
N. W. Adelman-Larsen, Rock and Pop Venues, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-45236-9_4,
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

49

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

50

Amager Bio
BUILT: in Copenhagen in 1941 as a cinema. Renovated 1997 as a music venue.
CAPACITY: 1,000
NUMBER OF CONCERTS PER YEAR: 60100

BUILDING MATERIALS USED: Ceiling: Concrete, about half is covered by


suspended mineral wool slabs. Floor: Wood on joists. Walls: Perforated, waveshaped metal plates, with mineral wool behind. Backdrop. Balcony level in the
rear of the hall.
Back wall

R-bal

RSG

R6
R4

R5

Stage
St2

St3

St1

Amager Bio

51

Geometrical data
Volume (m3)
Height (m)
Surface area stage (m2)
Surface area audience (m2)
Total surface area of hall (m2)
Capacity of standing persons

4,500
8.49.1
70
480
2,000
1,000

Acoustical dataomnisource
Audience area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
Tfuld(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
BRrock,a
Stage area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)

1.0
0.7
0.56
1.1
1.1
1.0
0.83
0.8

Subjective data
Audience area
Rating out of 20
Stage area
Rating out of 20

9
4

The sound engineers position is in the rear corner of the hall. This may negatively influence the sound engineers rating. The venue sounds great; the fan shape
may be ideal for amplified music.

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

52

Amagerbio - T30

Aud. area omni


Full house - omni
SD omni

2.5

Tid [s]

1.5

0.5

0
63

125

250

500

1000

2000

4000

2000

4000

2000

4000

Frekvens [Hz]
Amagerbio - D50

1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
63

Aud. omni
125

250

St. omni
500

1000

Frekvens [Hz]
Amagerbio - EDT

Aud. omni

SD omni

Tid [s]

1.5
1
0.5
0
63

125

250

500

Frekvens [Hz]

1000

Forbrndingen

53

Forbrndingen
BUILT: in Albertslund, 1996.
CAPACITY: 450
NUMBER OF CONCERTS PER YEAR: 70

BUILDING MATERIALS USED: Ceiling: Suspended wood fiber slabs. Floor:


Wood on joists. Walls: Painted concrete and drywall. Two balcony levels.

To
balcony

RSG
R2
R1

R
6

St1

St2
Source

St3

54

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

Geometrical data
Volume (m3)
Height (m)
Surface area stage (m2)
Surface area audience (m2)
Total surface area of hall (m2)
Capacity of standing persons

3,050
8.1
36
170
1,400
450

Acoustical dataomnisource
Audience area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
Tfuld(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
BRrock,a
Stage area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)

0.9
0.5
0.65
0.8
1.2
1.0
0.89
0.5

Subjective data
Audience area
Rating out of 20
Stage area
Rating out of 20

11
19

These ratings do not reflect the almost acceptable acoustics of the room. Earlier
this venue was not well liked by musicians due to lack of audience. Stage may
lack some early reflections.

Forbrndingen

55
Forbrndingen - T30

Aud. area omni


Aud. area PA
Full house - omni
SD omni
SD PA

2.5

Tid [s]

1.5

0.5

0
63

125

250

500

Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

Forbrndingen - D50

1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
63

Aud. omni
125

St. omni
250

500

Aud. PA
1000

St. PA
2000

4000

Frekvens [Hz]
Forbrndingen - EDT

Aud. omni

Aud. PA

SD omni

SD PA

Tid [s]

1.5
1
0.5
0
63

125

250

500

Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

56

Godset
BUILT: in Kolding in 1920 as railway premises. Rebuilt 2001 as a music venue.
CAPACITY: 700
NUMBER OF CONCERTS PER YEAR: about 70

BUILDING MATERIALS USED: Floor: Wood on joists. Ceiling: Wood fiber slabs.
Walls: Painted brick.
End walls: Painted drywall. A backdrop can be mounted behind the stage.

R2
R1
RSG

St1

St3
Stage

St2

Godset

57

Geometrical data
Volume (m3)
Height (m)
Surface area stage (m2)
Surface area audience (m2)
Total surface area of hall (m2)
Capacity of standing persons

2,150
3.89.2
35
260
1,100
700

Acoustical dataomnisource
Audience area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
Tfuld(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
BRrock,a
Stage area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)

0.8
0.5
0.38
0.9
0.8
0.8
0.85
0.5

Subjective data
Audience area
Rating out of 20
Stage area
Rating out of 20

4
6

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

58
Godset - T30

Aud. area omni


Aud. area PA
Full house - omni
SD omni
SD PA

2.5

Tid [s]

1.5

0.5

0
63

125

250

500

Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

Godset - D50

1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
63

Aud. omni
125

St. omni
250

500

Frekvens [Hz]

Aud. PA
1000

St. PA
2000

4000

Godset - EDT

Aud. omni

Aud. PA

SD omni

SD PA

Tid [s]

1.5
1

0.5
0
63

125

250

500

Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

Lille VEGA

59

Lille VEGA
BUILT: in Copenhagen in 1956. Rebuilt in 1996 as a music venue.
CAPACITY: 500
NUMBER OF CONCERTS PER YEAR: 150

BUILDING MATERIALS USED: Floor and walls: Wood on joists. Ceiling:


Concrete, suspended fabric.

RSG
St3

R1
St1
R2

balcony

St2

Stage

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

60
Geometrical data
Volume (m3)
Height (m)
Surface area stage (m2)
Surface area audience (m2)
Total surface area of hall (m2)
Capacity of standing persons

785
4.4
47
165
625
500

Acoustical dataomnisource
Audience area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
Tfuld(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
BRrock,a
Stage area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)

0.7
0.3
0.65
0.7
0.7
0.6
0.86
0.4

Subjective data
Audience area
Rating out of 20
Stage area
Rating out of 20

The sound engineers position is in the back of the hall in a corner.

6
1

Lille VEGA

61
Lille VEGA - T30

Aud. area omni


Aud. area PA
Full house - omni
SD omni

2.5

SD PA

1.5

0.5

0
63

125

250

500

Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

Lille VEGA - D50

1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
63

Aud. omni
125

250

St. omni

Aud. PA

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

St. PA
2000

4000

Lille VEGA - EDT


Aud. omni

Aud. PA

SD omni

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

SD PA

1.5

Tid [s]

Tid [s]

1
0.5
0
63

125

250

2000

4000

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

62

Loppen
BUILT: in Copenhagen in 1880. Rebuilt as a music venue in 1973.
CAPACITY: 350
NUMBER OF CONCERTS PER YEAR: 180

BUILDING MATERIALS USED: Ceiling: Wood. Floor: Wood on joists.


Walls: Painted bricks. No backdrop.

St2
St1

Stage
R2

R3

R1
RSG

Loppen

63

Geometrical data
Volume (m3)
Height (m)
Surface area stage (m2)
Surface area audience (m2)
Total surface area of hall (m2)
Capacity of standing persons

890
2.7
34
150
870
350

Acoustical dataomnisource
Audience area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
Tfuld(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
BRrock,a
Stage area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)

0.8
0.5
0.69
0.7
1.2
0.7
0.82
0.6

Subjective data
Audience area
Rating out of 20
Stage area
Rating out of 20

12
5

Difficult peak in T30 around 200Hz due to low ceiling. Very intimate venue;
musicians meet their audience one-to-one.

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

64
Loppen - T30

Aud. area omni


Aud. area PA
Full house - omni
SD omni
SD PA

2.5

Tid [s]

1.5

0.5

0
63

125

250

500

Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

Loppen - D50

1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
63

Aud. omni
125

St. omni
250

500

Frekvens [Hz]

Aud. PA
1000

St. PA
2000

4000

Loppen - EDT

Aud. omni

Aud. PA

SD omni

SD PA

Tid [s]

1.5
1

0.5
0
63

125

250

500

Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

Magasinet

65

Magasinet
BUILT: in Odense 1933. Rebuilt as a music venue 1988.
CAPACITY: 525
NUMBER OF CONCERTS PER YEAR: 100

BUILDING MATERIALS USED: Ceiling and walls: Painted concrete. Floor:


Rubber on concrete. Backdrop.

R2

St2
St3

RSG

St1

R-bal
R1

Stage

66

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

Geometrical data
Volume (m3)
Height (m)
Surface area stage (m2)
Surface area audience (m2)
Total surface area of hall (m2)
Capacity of standing persons

2,540
7.8
120
230
1,400
525

Acoustical dataomnisource
Audience area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
Tfuld(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
BRrock,a
Stage area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)

1.3
0.8
0.33
1.5
1.4
1.3
0.85
1.2

Subjective data
Audience area
Rating out of 20
Stage area
Rating out of 20

19
12

The low rating reflects the peak in T30 at 125Hz. This venue was renewed in
2008 (see Fig. 5.5) and the peak was brought down to the recommended value for
this size hall. It is now one of the best venues in Denmark according to musicians
and audience, but due to the deliberate absence of porous absorption, sound
engineers can have a hard time controlling the sound, especially at sound check, if
the band does not have a good sound by itself.

Magasinet

67

Magasinet - T30

Aud. area omni


Aud. area PA
Full house - omni
SD omni
SD PA

2.5

Tid [s]

1.5

0.5

0
63

125

250

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

Magasinet - D50

1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
63

Aud. omni
125

250

St. omni

Aud. PA

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

St. PA
2000

4000

Magasinet - EDT

Tid [s]

1.5
1

Aud. omni

Aud. PA

SD omni

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

SD PA

0.5
0
63

125

250

2000

4000

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

68

Palletten
BUILT: in Viborg, as a cinema. Rebuilt as a music venue 1993.
CAPACITY: 375
NUMBER OF CONCERTS PER YEAR: 75

BUILDING MATERIALS USED: Ceiling: Painted mineral wool.


Floor: Wood on joists.
Walls: Painted concrete. Backdrop.

R3

Stage
R1
RSG

St3
St1
St2

R2

Palletten

69

Geometrical data
Volume (m3)
Height (m)
Surface area stage (m2)
Surface area audience (m2)
Total surface area of hall (m2)
Capacity of standing persons

1,420
2.95.5
43
185
890
375

Acoustical dataomnisource
Audience area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
Tfuld(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
BRrock,a
Stage area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)

0.8
0.6
0.53
0.7
1.0
0.7
0.84
0.54

Subjective data
Audience area
Rating out of 20
Gennemsnit
Median
Spredning
Varians
Antal besvarelser
Stage area
Rating out of 20
Gennemsnit
Median
Spredning
Varians
Antal besvarelser

8
3.63
3.5
1.30
1.70
8
7
3.23
3
1.01
1.03
13

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

70

Paletten - T30

Aud. area omni


Aud. area PA
Full house - omni
SD omni
SD PA

2.5

Tid [s]

1.5

0.5

0
63

125

250

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

Paletten - D50

1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
63

Aud. omni
125

250

St. omni

Aud. PA

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

St. PA
2000

4000

Paletten - EDT
Aud. omni

Aud. PA

SD omni

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

SD PA

Tid [s]

1.5
1
0.5
0
63

125

250

2000

4000

Pumpehuset

71

Pumpehuset
BUILT: in Copenhagen, 1852 as a freshwater pumping station. Rebuilt as a music
venue in 1986.
CAPACITY: 600
NUMBER OF CONCERTS PER YEAR: 125

BUILDING MATERIALS USED: Ceiling: Wood. Floor: Rubber on concrete.


Side walls: Painted brick. Upper triangle on each end wall: Wood fiber slabs direct
on brick. End wall opposite stage: Brick wall with perforated bricks (hole width:
25mm, hole length: 100mm and a 25-cm cavity with mineral wool behind).
Resonator absorbers on side walls. Small thin baffles suspended near ceiling.

R3

R1

St4
Source

RSG
R2

St5

72

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

Geometrical data
Volume (m3)
Height (m)
Surface area stage (m2)
Surface area audience (m2)
Total surface area of hall (m2)
Capacity of standing persons

3,000
6.79.4
55
225
1,400
600

Acoustical dataomnisource
Audience area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
Tfuld(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
BRrock,a
Stage area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)

1.2
0.8
0.60
1.0
0.9
1.2
0.62
1.0

Subjective data
Audience area
Rating out of 20
Stage area
Rating out of 20

15
16

Everybody has an opinion about this hall. The poor ratings are to some degree justified. There is too much reverberation altogether (except at 250Hz where probably
the perforated brick wall has an impact). The hall is very long and narrow and from
the stage it seems that the sound decay is indeed too long and its difficult to get loud
enough levels of early sound in order to be able to mask the loud level of late reflections. On the other hand, when the venue is completely packed it is actually ok and a
certain sound atmosphere arises. It seems that the air conditioning cannot keep up with
the many active audience members whereby the high level of moisture in the room
creates a new frequency balance that makes the room exciting to create music in.

Pumpehuset

73

Pumpehuset - T30

Aud. area omni


Aud. area PA
Full house - omni
SD omni
SD PA

2.5

Tid [s]

1.5

0.5

0
63

125

250

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

Pumpehuset - D50

1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
63

Aud. omni
125

250

St. omni

Aud. PA

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

St. PA
2000

4000

Pumpehuset - EDT
Aud. omni

Aud. PA

SD omni

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

SD PA

Tid [s]

1.5
1
0.5
0
63

125

250

2000

4000

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

74

Rytmeposten
BUILT: in Odense, 1915 as a post office; rebuilt 1988 as a music venue. Rebuilt again
in 2007.
CAPACITY: 300
NUMBER OF CONCERTS PER YEAR: 130

BUILDING MATERIALS USED: Ceiling. Gypsum board on cavity. Suspended


mineral wool slabs on half the ceiling area (the half above and close to the stage).
Floor: Wood on joists. Walls: Painted bricks. Some mineral wool slabs on side walls.
Stage walls are completely covered by mineral wool slabs, carpet on stage floor.

R2
R1

RSG

St3
St1

St2

Stage

Rytmeposten

75

Geometrical data
Volume (m3)
Height (m)
Surface area stage (m2)
Surface area audience (m2)
Total surface area of hall (m2)
Capacity of standing persons

655
3.3
41
130
605
300

Acoustical dataomnisource
Audience area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
Tfuld(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
BRrock,a
Stage area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)

0.8
0.5
0.71
0.7
1.0
0.6
0.92
0.3

Subjective data
Audience area
Rating out of 20
Stage area
Rating out of 20

10
14

The stage had been dampened too much compared to the hall itself, mostly at
mid/high frequencies (the BR on stage was 1.6). The low ceiling makes it difficult
to obtain proper PA coverage. Today a completely new hall has been built and this
former stage is merely a secondary stage in the building.

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

76

Rytmeposten - T30

Aud. area omni


Aud. area PA
Full house - omni
SD omni
SD PA

2.5

Tid [s]

1.5

0.5

0
63

125

250

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

Rytmeposten - D50

1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
63

Aud. omni
125

250

St. omni

Aud. PA

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

St. PA
2000

4000

Rytmeposten - EDT
Aud. omni

Aud. PA

SD omni

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

SD PA

Tid [s]

1.5
1
0.5
0
63

125

250

2000

4000

Musikhuzet

77

Musikhuzet
BUILT: in Rnne, 1930s as a cinema. Rebuilt as a music venue in 1992. Refurbished
again in 2004.
CAPACITY: 640
NUMBER OF CONCERTS PER YEAR: 50

BUILDING MATERIALS USED: Ceiling: Gypsum board on cavity. In 2004


partial coverage with suspended mineral wool slabs. Full coverage above stage.
Floor: Wood on cavity. Walls: Wooden panels. Backdrop.

5

6W
6W

5
56*

5
5EDO

6W
6WDJH

5

5EDO
5

78

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

Geometrical data
Volume (m3)
Height (m)
Surface area stage (m2)
Surface area audience (m2)
Total surface area of hall (m2)
Capacity of standing persons

2,080
6.08.0
48
275
1,100
700

Acoustical dataPA
Audience area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
Tfuld(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
BRrock,a
Stage area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)

0.9
0.5
0.58
0.9
1.2
0.8
0.51
1.0

Subjective data
Audience area
Rating out of 20
Stage area
Rating out of 20

17
9

The ratings do not correspond to the objective measurements because the hall
was refurbished shortly before these measurements were taken.

Musikhuzet

79

Rnne Musikhus - T30

Aud. area PA
Full house - PA
SD PA

2.5

Tid [s]

1.5

0.5

0
63

125

250

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

Rnne Musikhus - D50

Aud. PA

0.8

St. PA

0.6
0.4
0.2
0
63

125

250

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

Rnne Musikhus - EDT

Aud. PA

SD PA

Tid [s]

1.5
1
0.5
0
63

125

250

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

80

Skren
BUILT: in lborg, 1978.
CAPACITY: 375
NUMBER OF CONCERTS PER YEAR: 100

BUILDING MATERIALS USED: Ceiling: Concrete partially covered with thin


suspended mineral wool slabs. Floor: Rubber on concrete. Walls: Painted concrete.
Backdrop.

St2
R1

Stage
St1

RSG

St3
R2

Skren

81

Geometrical data
Volume (m3)
Height (m)
Surface area stage (m2)
Surface area audience (m2)
Total surface area of hall (m2)
Capacity of standing persons

1,100
3.9
37
180
870
375

Acoustical dataomnisource
Audience area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
Tfuld(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
Stage area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
BRrock,s

0.7
0.4
0.53
0.7
0.7
0.82
0.7
1.8

Subjective data
Audience area
Rating out of 20
Stage area
Rating out of 20

14
13

The T30 in the 50100-Hz third octave bands dominate this venue. However,
when the packed the venue is almost bearable. This fact leaves a hint that a longer
T30 in the 63 Hz octave band is acceptable. A fine new Skren was built in 2007.

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

82

Skren - T30

Aud. omni
Full house - omni
2.5

Tid [s]

1.5

0.5

0
63

125

250

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

2000

4000

2000

4000

Skren - D50

1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
63

Aud. omni
125

250

500
Frekvens [Hz]

St. omni
1000

Skren - EDT

Aud. omni

SD omni

Tid [s]

1.5
1
0.5
0
63

125

250

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

Slagelse Musikhus

83

Slagelse Musikhus
BUILT: in Aalborg, 1909 as a power plant. Rebuilt in 1994 as a music venue.
CAPACITY: 700
NUMBER OF CONCERTS PER YEAR: 30

BUILDING MATERIALS USED: Ceiling: Concrete. Floor: Wood on concrete.


Side walls: Bricks. End walls large windows. Perforated gypsum boards above
windows. Upholstered chairs on balcony. Upholstered, retractable seats stuffed in
rear end of hall.

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

84

5
5

6W

5
5EDO
5

6W
5

Geometrical data
Volume (m3)
Height (m)
Surface area stage (m2)
Surface area audience (m2)
Total surface area of hall (m2)
Capacity of standing persons

3,800
10.6
60
285
1,650
700

Acoustical dataomnisource
Audience area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
Tfuld(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
Stage area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
BRrock,s

1.7
1.0
0.32
1.5
1.6
0.77
1.1
1.1

Subjective data
Audience area
Rating out of 20
Stage area
Rating out of 20

20
17

Evidently much too long T30 across all frequencies. Smaller venues at the same
address host most of the amplified concerts here.

Slagelse Musikhus

85

Slagelse musikhus - T30

Aud. area omni


Aud. area PA
Full house - omni
SD omni
SD PA

2.5

Tid [s]

1.5

0.5

0
63

125

250

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

Slagelse musikhus - D50

1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
63

Aud. omni
125

250

St. omni

Aud. PA

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

St. PA
2000

4000

Slagelse musikhus - EDT

Tid [s]

1.5
1

Aud. omni

Aud. PA

SD omni

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

SD PA

0.5
0
63

125

250

2000

4000

86

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

Stars
BUILT: in Vordingborg around 1900. Rebuilt as a rock venue in 1997.
CAPACITY: 460
NUMBER OF CONCERTS PER YEAR: 100

BUILDING MATERIALS USED: Ceiling: Mineral wool slabs on cavity.


Floor: Wood on joists. Walls: Large areas are covered by mineral wool on large
cavity. Carpet on stage floor, backdrop.

Stars

87

St1

St2

Source
1

St3

R7
R8
R6
RSG
R4

88

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

Geometrical data
Volume (m3)
Height (m)
Surface area stage (m2)
Surface area audience (m2)
Total surface area of hall (m2)
Capacity of standing persons

1,440
4.76.7
42
220
970
400

Acoustical dataomnisource
Audience area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
Tfuld(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
BRrock,a
Stage area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)

0.6
0.4
0.73
0.5
0.9
0.5
0.94
0.3

Subjective data
Audience area
Rating out of 20
Stage area
Rating out of 20

1
10

This is a very interesting hall inasmuch as it is the only one among the 20 that
was rated too dry by the musicians. This hall is responsible for our knowledge that
halls for pop and rock can in fact have a too low reverberation time, not enough
vivacity, and a lack of communication between stage and hall. The musicians rating may increase by simply removing sound absorption such as the carpet from
the stage. But the sound level of the audience will still occur too low on stage.
Sound engineers enjoy the possibility of full control of outboard sound-processing
devices such as artificial reverberation here.

Stars

89

Stars - T30

Aud. area omni


Full house - omni
SD omni

2.5

Tid [s]

1.5

0.5

0
63

125

250

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

2000

4000

2000

4000

Stars - D50

1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
63

Aud. omni
125

250

500
Frekvens [Hz]

St. omni
1000

Stars - EDT

Aud. omni

SD omni

Tid [s]

1.5
1
0.5
0
63

125

250

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

90

Store VEGA
BUILT: in Copenhagen,1956. Rebuilt 1996 as a music venue.
CAPACITY: 1,500
NUMBER OF CONCERTS PER YEAR: 100

BUILDING MATERIALS USED: Ceiling: Suspended mineral wool slabs


on large cavity. Perforated gypsum boards on ceilings under balconies. Floor:
Wooden. Walls: Wooden panels on cavity. Backdrop. Stage tower above stage.

R3

St3
RSG

R1

St1
Stage

R-bal

R2

St2

Store VEGA

91

Geometrical data
Volume (m3)
Height (m)
Surface area stage (m2)
Surface area audience (m2)
Total surface area of hall (m2)
Capacity of standing persons

5,800
10.1
124
460
2,200
1,430

Acoustical dataomnisource
Audience area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
Tfuld(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
Stage area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
BRrock,s

1.2
0.7
0.63
1.0
0.9
0.91
0.44
1.1

Subjective data
Audience area
Rating out of 20
Stage area
Rating out of 20

3
2

Store Vega is the unofficial national stage for pop and rock in Denmark and
its always a pleasure to perform there as well as to be a member of the audience.
There are multiple bars in the adjacent rooms. Being placed far back on the large
stage one may find that late low-frequency sound gets a little too dominant. This
is a result of a rise in the T30 curve at very low frequencies together with the fact
that the tall stage tower does not create early sound energy to mask the late LF
response (and maybe the tower itself also creates a long LF reverberation).

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

92
Store VEGA - T30
3

Aud. area omni


Aud. area PA
2.5

Full house - omni


SD omni
SD PA

Tid [s]

1.5

0.5

0
63

125

250

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

Store VEGA - D50


1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
63

Aud. omni
125

250

St. omni

Aud. PA

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

St. PA
2000

4000

Store VEGA - EDT


2
Aud. omni

Aud. PA

SD omni

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

SD PA

Tid [s]

1.5
1
0.5
0
63

125

250

2000

4000

Snderborghus

93

Snderborghus
BUILT: in Snderborg, 1913 as a community house for the Danish minority.
Rebuilt 1976.
CAPACITY: 350
NUMBER OF CONCERTS PER YEAR: 150180

BUILDING MATERIALS USED: Ceiling: Masonry. Some mineral wool slabs


mounted in ceiling and on wall areas (installed 2004). Floor: Wood on cavity.
Walls: Painted bricks, large windows, backdrop.

St3
Stage

St2

St1

R1

R2
R3
RSG

94

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

Geometrical data
Volume (m3)
Height (m)
Surface area stage (m2)
Surface area audience (m2)
Total surface area of hall (m2)
Capacity of standing persons

1,600
6.0
55
185
1,000
420

Acoustical dataomnisource
Audience area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
Tfuld(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
Stage area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
BRrock,s

1.0
0.6
0.51
1.0
0.8
0.78
0.6
1.3

Subjective data
Audience area
Rating out of 20
Stage area
Rating out of 20

18
20

Just prior to the measurement of this hall some sound absorptive materials were
installed as well as a new PA system. It is therefore uncertain how well the ratings reflect these measurements. However, the T30 is still too long for the relatively
modest volume of the hall, there is a bass ratio of 1.3, and the musicians dislike
being put away in a smaller enclosure detached from the hall which is even, as
mentioned, too reverberant.

Snderborghus

95
Snderborghus - T30

3
Aud. area omni
Aud. area PA
2.5

Full house - omni


SD omni
SD PA

Tid [s]

1.5

0.5

0
63

125

250

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

Snderborghus - D50
1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
63

Aud. omni
125

250

St. omni

Aud. PA

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

St. PA
2000

4000

Snderborghus - EDT
2
Aud. omni

Aud. PA

SD omni

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

SD PA

Tid [s]

1.5
1
0.5
0
63

125

250

2000

4000

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

96

Tobakken
BUILT: in Esbjerg, 1900 as a tobacco factory. Rebuilt 1993 as a music venue.
CAPACITY: 1,150
NUMBER OF CONCERTS PER YEAR: 75

BUILDING MATERIALS USED: The hall is a covered courtyard situated


between two buildings from which the facades have been partially removed.
Ceiling: Nonperforated steel plates on cavity. Floor: Hard wood on concrete.
Walls: Bricks, large window at one end.
St7

St1

Stage

St0

R3
R2

R4

R5

RSG

R-bal

Tobakken

97

Geometrical data
Volume (m3)
Height (m)
Surface area stage (m2)
Surface area audience (m2)
Total surface area of hall (m2)
Capacity of standing persons

6,500
9.7
100
600
3,300
1,200

Acoustical dataPA
Audience area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
Tfuld(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
Stage area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
BRrock,s

1.0
0.7
0.67
1.0
1.0
0.83
0.6
1.73

Subjective data
Audience area
Rating out of 20
Stage area
Rating out of 20

7
11

Musicians suffer from a too-long RT at low frequencies in combination with


too few early reflections due to lack of reflective surfaces behind the stage area.

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

98
Tobakken - T30
3

Aud. area PA
Full house - PA
SD PA

2.5

Tid [s]

1.5

0.5

0
63

125

250

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

Tobakken - D50
1
0.8
0.6
0.4

Aud. PA

St. PA

0.2
0
63

125

250

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

Tobakken - EDT
2
Aud. PA

SD PA

Tid [s]

1.5
1
0.5
0
63

125

250

500
Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

Torvehallerne

99

Torvehallerne
BUILT: in Vejle, 1992.
CAPACITY: 700
NUMBER OF CONCERTS PER YEAR: 40

BUILDING MATERIALS USED: Ceiling: Painted masonry, gypsum boards


on cavity. Floor: Wood on cavity. Walls: Perforated gypsum boards, painted concrete. Backdrop.

St2
Stage
St3

St1

RSG
R1

R2

100

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

Geometrical data
Volume (m3)
Height (m)
Surface area stage (m2)
Surface area audience (m2)
Total surface area of hall (m2)
Capacity of standing persons

5,400
9.8
98
280
2,100
700

Acoustical dataomnisource
Audience area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
Tfuld(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
Stage area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
BRrock,s

1.6
1.1
0.26
1.6
1.4
0.60
0.89
0.8

Subjective data
Audience area
Rating out of 20
Stage area
Rating out of 20

16
15

The hall is too reverberant at mid and higher frequencies. This could be controlled by a better loudspeaker coverage, but the upper speakers in the two arrays
point directly towards the big reflective back wall. Musicians lack early reflections
on the vast stage to mask the loud level of late sound.

Torvehallerne

101
Torvehallerne - T30

Aud. area omni


Aud. area PA
Full house - omni

2.5

SD omni
SD PA

Tid [s]

1.5

0.5

0
63

125

250

500

1000

2000

4000

Frekvens [Hz]

Torvehallerne - D50
1
0.8

Aud. omni

St. omni

Aud. PA

St. PA

0.6
0.4
0.2
0
63

125

250

500

1000

2000

4000

Frekvens [Hz]
Torvehallerne - EDT
2

Tid [s]

1.5
1

Aud. omni

Aud. PA

SD omni

SD PA

0.5
0
63

125

250

500

Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

102

Train
BUILT: in rhus for storage. Rebuilt in the 1990s first as a discothque, then as a
music venue.
CAPACITY: 900
NUMBER OF CONCERTS PER YEAR: 100

BUILDING MATERIALS USED: Ceiling: Gypsum board on cavity, suspended


wood fiber slabs. Floor: Linoleum on concrete. Wood on cavity on stage. Walls:
Gypsum board on cavity.
St7

St8

R3
R6
R5

R2
RSG
R-bal

Train

103

Geometrical data
Volume (m3)
Height (m)
Surface area stage (m2)
Surface area audience (m2)
Total surface area of hall (m2)
Capacity of standing persons

3,300
average: 4, 9
60
390
2,000
900

Acoustical dataomnisource
Audience area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
Tfuld(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
Stage area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
BRrock,s

1.0
0.6
0.60
0.85
0.8
0.86
0.4
0.9

Subjective data
Audience area
Rating out of 20
Stage area
Rating out of 20

2
3

This is a great hall for pop and rock music. Not only are the acoustics close to
ideal, there is also a great view from the stage onto the different bar areas and floor
levels for the audience. The sound engineers position is also ideal. The height of
the hall just allows for one balcony level and for acceptable PA coverage. A few
more side reflections on stage would be good.

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

104
Train - T30

Aud. area omni


Aud. area PA
2.5

Full house - omni


SD omni
SD PA

Tid [s]

1.5

0.5

0
63

125

250

500

1000

2000

4000

Frekvens [Hz]
Train - D50
1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
63

Aud. omni
125

St. omni
250

500

Aud. PA
1000

St. PA
2000

4000

Frekvens [Hz]
Train - EDT
2

Aud. omni

Aud. PA

SD omni

SD PA

Tid [s]

1.5
1
0.5
0
63

125

250

500

Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

Viften

105

Viften
BUILT: in Rdovre, 1989 as an inexpensive performing arts center/multipurpose hall.
CAPACITY: 700
NUMBER OF CONCERTS PER YEAR: 55

BUILDING MATERIALS USED: Ceiling: Concrete. Floor: Cork on concrete.


Walls: Concrete. Banners on all walls. Backdrop.

R2
Source

St6

R1
R3

St5
R7
R4

106

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

Geometrical data
Volume (m3)
Height (m)
Surface area stage (m2)
Surface area audience (m2)
Total surface area of hall (m2)
Capacity of standing persons

3,950
8.9
<125
330400
1,650
700

Acoustical dataomnisource
Audience area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
Tfuld(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
Stage area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
BRrock,s

1.1
0.8
0.43
1.2
1.0
0.83
0.8
2.0

Subjective data
Audience area
Rating out of 20
Stage area
Rating out of 20

13
18

This hall was a good example of a hall with no LF absorption and quite an
extensive amount of MF/HF absorption in terms of banners. Some LF absorption
has now been added.

Viften

107
Viften - T30
3

Aud. area omni


Aud. area PA
Full house - omni

2.5

SD omni
SD PA

Tid [s]

1.5

0.5

0
63

125

250

500

Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

Viften - D50
1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
63

Aud. omni
125

St. omni
250

500

Aud. PA
1000

St. PA
2000

4000

Frekvens [Hz]
Viften - EDT
2

Aud. omni

Aud. PA

SD omni

SD PA

Tid [s]

1.5
1
0.5
0
63

125

250

500

Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

108

Voxhall
BUILT: in rhus, 1999 as a music venue.
CAPACITY: 500
NUMBER OF CONCERTS PER YEAR: 150

BUILDING MATERIALS USED: Ceiling: Suspended mineral wool slabs.


Gypsum boards on cavity in the center of the hall. Floor: Wood on cavity. Walls:
Wooden panels on cavity, concrete.

R1

St3
St1

Stage

RSG
St2
R2

Voxhall

109

Geometrical data
Volume (m3)
Height (m)
Surface area stage (m2)
Surface area audience (m2)
Total surface area of hall (m2)
Capacity of standing persons

1,600
5.6
70
190
710
500

Acoustical dataomnisource
Audience area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
Tfuld(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
Stage area
Ttom(5001k) (s)
D50(2502k)
EDT(2502k) (s)
BRrock,s

0.6
0.5
0.76
0.8
0.6
0.86
0.5
0.9

Subjective data
Audience area
Rating out of 20
Stage area
Rating out of 20

5
8

4 Assessments of 20 Halls

110
Voxhall - T30
3

Aud. area omni


Aud. area PA
Full house - omni

2.5

SD omni
SD PA

Tid [s]

1.5

0.5

0
63

125

250

500

1000

2000

4000

Frekvens [Hz]
Voxhall - D50

1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
63

Aud. omni
125

St. omni
250

500

Aud. PA
1000

St. PA
2000

4000

Frekvens [Hz]
Voxhall - EDT

2
Aud. omni

Aud. PA

SD omni

SD PA

Tid [s]

1.5

1
0.5
0
63

125

250

500

Frekvens [Hz]

1000

2000

4000

Chapter 5

Recommended Acoustics for Pop


and Rock Music

As pop and rock evolved during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s dedicated venues for
this music were built. Buildings formerly used for other purposes such as cinema
or factories found new life accommodating live, amplified dance music, from bars
and clubs for a few hundred people to actual music halls for more than a thousand people at the other end of the scale. And since the 1990s there has been an
improved focus on the acoustics of sports arenas, that are used to house some of
the most popular pop stars, with regards to amplified music.
Knowledge gathered from a large number of halls indicates that a fair share
of acoustic consultants have been aware of what kind of acoustics is needed for
amplified music. But other halls have not had the same luck and there have been a
few typical misconceptions and pitfalls when designing for this purpose. Despite
good efforts, the recommendations have not been complete regarding acoustics for
amplified music. Some authors, however, briefly include the topic. For instance.
the late, great architect Russell Johnson is referred to by Ahnert and Steffen in
their book, Sound Reinforcement Engineering 1999, to recommend a reverberation
time RT(500-1k) of 0.81.2s in halls for dance bands. But nothing is mentioned as
to which hall volumes these numbers correspond or to recommended RT at other
than mid-frequencies. Barron mentions in Auditorium Acoustics and Architectural
Design 1993, that a T30 below 1s is recommended.
Some textbooks on room acoustics recommend that halls for music have
an increase of reverberation time at frequencies below 250Hz (despite the fact
that many of the very best rated halls for symphonic music dont show this trait
without an audience). Surely, this brings warmth to the sound. But this is only
true for (unamplified) classical music. For amplified pop/rock music, as shown
in this chapter, it is enemy number one! At unamplified music events the acoustics of a hall, together with the sound level produced by the ensemble, are solely
responsible for the total sound level in the hall. And with some help from a longer
reverberation at low frequencies, the bass sound is acoustically amplified and the
overall sound thereby perceived warmer. At amplified music concerts, however,
producing enough level for the audience is obtained just by turning knobs on the

N. W. Adelman-Larsen, Rock and Pop Venues, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-45236-9_5,


Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

111

112

5 Recommended Acoustics for Pop and Rock Music

instrument, the amplifier on stage, monitors, and of course importantly, by pushing faders and turning gain knobs on the FOH mixing console, adjusting the sound
level provided by the PA system. In fact possible level differences because of uneven frequency response are equalized in numerous places as mentioned earlier:
many musicians will automatically try to adjust their levels, and in smaller rooms
some will equalize their instrument or amplifier to fit the response of the hall; both
the PA system and often also the monitor system will comprise graphic equalizers
to even out level differences resulting from the sum of the possible acoustic amplification of the hall and electroacoustic amplification of the PA system. And finally
the sound engineer will decide both on faders and equalizers for each channel as
well as on possible outboard devices such as compressors, the decided level of an
instrument, and how it blends in the complete mix.
In this way, in halls for amplified music, the effect of reverberation time on
sound level is not in focus. Moreover, delay speakers can be applied to enhance
levels farther back in the hall, should it be inadequate. But as shown earlier, a
low reverberation time gives a long critical distance and thus few members of the
audience experiencing an overall reverberant sound. So is it not as simple as suggesting that for the greatest possible share of the audience to get good, defined,
direct sound, then as short a reverberation time as possible should be chosen. Are
the outdoor conditions with no reflections what we need to bring inside the
hall? The answer is a definite NO. Close to anechoic (little reflections) conditions
would be chosen from such a strictly logical reasoning and chapters on critical
distance found in, for instance, the Sound Reinforcement Handbook by Davis and
Jones 1990, can surely leave the reader believing this. Some consultants have chosen almost anechoic acoustics for amplified music halls assuming that the only
focus point was freeing the audience from undefined reverberant sound. And that
hypothesis has in some cases been taken to the extreme sometimes even without
enough focus on absorbing low frequencies. But as shown later demonstrate, this
is not a correct path to pursue. In this chapter, we will see what values of reverberation time are recommended for a given hall volume; it must be relatively short,
but not too short, and within limits it can vary with frequency.

The Basis of the Recommendations


In 2005 a study regarding recommended acoustics for pop and rock music was
conducted in Denmark. To this day it seems to be the only proper research ever
made for this purpose. The results from the survey were unambiguous, therefore
recommendations have been made on this basis and they form the platform of this
book. The author of those research papers and of this very book served 15years
in the music industry as a jazz and rock drummer, and played more than 1,200
concerts. A large share of those concerts was performances with the same band,
playing the same music in the same venues with the same sound system and sound
engineer over several years. That experience made the author certain that halls

The Basis of the Recommendations

113

actually leave an acoustic imprint in the memory of at least some musicians and
sound engineers. The author had a good network among Danish musicians, sound
engineers, and venues. It was therefore a manageable task to conduct an investigation where a number of musicians and sound engineers were asked their opinion
about the acoustics in the 20 most commonly used venues in the country. By looking in the venues calendars from previous years it was determined which bands
and musicians had played most often in a large number of the halls. A questionnaire was sent to 50 musicians and 18 sound engineers of whom 25 musicians and
8 sound engineers responded.
In a letter to the musicians and engineers accompanying the questionnaire the
test persons were instructed only to fill out the sheets if they felt sure about their
responses and to omit the halls they were not very familiar with or for other reasons felt uncertain about judging. The letter to the musicians said:
As a musician, one evaluates venuesconsciously or subconsciouslybased on factors,
such as: how good is the visual contact with the audience, is the temperature appropriate, is the service good etc. In this anonymous survey, the focus is on the acoustics
of the venue for the performers. This means: how does the hall respond to the music
that is playedjudged independently (as far as possible) of the PA-system, the monitor
technicians etc.

Then the first page of the survey included questions about what kind of monitors the band uses (in-ear, headphone, stage monitors, other), whether the respondent
used to discuss the acoustics of halls with their colleagues (yes/no), how important
acoustics are for the respondent (very, somewhat, a little, not important), whether the
respondent had chosen not to play in certain halls on the account of the acoustics (yes/
no), and whether the respondent found that possible negative effects of the acoustics
could be mitigated through the use of in-ear monitors (very, somewhat, a little, no).
Then the respondent was asked to complete a questionnaire for each hall, asking for ratings of the halls on several acoustic aspects. This part of the questionnaire, that had to do with each hall, was based on the questionnaire used by Barron
in his 1988 paper, Subjective Study of British Symphony Concert Halls. Some
of the parameters used in Barrons questionnaire were changed to better fit a rock
setting. It was expected that the subjective ratings of Clarity, Reverberance, and
Bass Balance would be correlated to the objective measures D50, T30, or EDT and
BR. Figure5.1 shows the questionnaires that were sent to musicians and sound
engineers, respectively.
The respondents were free to set a mark anywhere on the continuous line.
There was an optimal mark at the center point of the line for all but the Clarity
rating. The positions of the respondents marks on the line were measured assuming a linear scale and the data were gathered for statistical and correlational analysis in order to investigate how they corresponded with objective measurement data
of the 20 halls.
The 20 halls were acoustically measured according to standards (ISO
3382:1997) with an omnidirectional source (dodecahedron). Obtaining the relevant data also in the 63Hz band was a focus point wherefore an omnidirectional subwoofer was used together with the dodecahedron. For another round of

114

5 Recommended Acoustics for Pop and Rock Music

Fig.5.1The questionnaires sent to musicians and sound engineers differed slightly

measurements, the PA system of the hall was used as the sound source in conjunction with the exact same microphone positions used for omnisource measurements.

Results of the Interviews


The First Page of the Questionnaire
The results of the study, and a precise description of it, were published in the
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America in 20101 with the help of Dr. Eric R.
1Suitable

reverberation times for halls for rock and pop music. JASA, 127(1), Jan. 2010,
Adelman-Larsen et al.

Results of the Interviews

115

Thompson and Dr. Anders Gade. As mentioned, about half the people to whom the
questionnaire was sent actually answered it. Those who did not return it may have
felt unable to answer and may not be as conscious of, or as affected by, the acoustics as those who did. Or there may have been other reasons. Of course, not all
halls obtained an equal amount of questionnaire returns, so the statistical certainty
for correct ratings is not the same for all halls. Among the 25 musicians who
responded there were eight drummers, seven bass players, five guitar players, three
keyboard players, and two singers. It is very possible that different instrumental
groups prefer somewhat different acoustics. More test people than 25 are needed
in order to achieve significant knowledge about this. In any case, the average
obtained in this study is relevant because all these instruments are regularly represented on any stage for pop and rock music.
On the question, How important are the acoustics of a venue to you? Seven
out of eight sound engineers and 17 out of 25 musicians answered very important, the remaining sound engineer and 7 musicians said that acoustics are
important, and the remaining 1 musician said that acoustics are only slightly
important. Two of the eight sound engineers had considered not playing, and 8 of
the 25 musicians said that they had chosen not to play in certain venues because of
inadequate acoustics. All sound engineers and all musicians said that they discuss
the acoustics of specific halls with colleagues.
Five sound engineers responded that their bands used in-ear monitoring, seven
reported using onstage monitors, and one reported using headphones and monitors
(note that the respondents could choose more than one monitor type). Fourteen
musicians reported using in-ear monitors, 19 used on-stage monitors, and three
musicians (all drummers) reported using headphones. On the question of whether
in-ear monitors can help mitigate the possible bad effects of a halls acoustics,
four sound engineers and nine musicians responded, very much, three sound
engineers and eight musicians responded, somewhat, and one sound engineer
and three musicians responded, a little. The remaining five musicians either
responded, dont know or did not respond. These responses are of importance;
the direct sound experienced when using in-ear monitoring certainly to a large
degree masks possible unwanted reverberant sound, but only at frequencies above
some 250Hz. The in-ear/closed headphones do not block lower frequency sound
that the musicians seem to be able then to hear, both with their ears and from
vibrations leading to sound perception by the inner ear through bone and body
conduction. Some musicians are capable, in a positive way, to focus on the higher
frequency direct sound rather than reverberant, undefined lower frequency sound.
In order to try to mask the reverberant low-frequency sound with some direct low
frequencies, some musicians, especially bass players, get a vibration-plate to stand
on and drummers sometimes invest in a so-called butt kicker, a vibration transducer that can be mounted on their drum seat. None of the musicians in this survey
used those tools.
To the question whether musicians choose not to play in certain halls, there
were cases where one member of a band said no, and another said yes. Maybe
the one answering yes is involved in the booking process and the other one is not.

116

5 Recommended Acoustics for Pop and Rock Music

Or the first one plays in other bands also with other preferences on this subject.
Overall, these results showed that acoustics are certainly important for rock musicians and sound engineers although in-ear monitoring lowers the importance to
some extent for musicians.

PA System Versus Omnidirectional Source Measurements


In the Fig.5.2 definition, D50 is shown as a function of frequency as an average
across all halls, for both omnisource and PA measurements and both with measurements in the audience area and on stage. It is seen that the highest definition is
achieved with the omnisource on stage somewhat more defined than the PA sound
in the audience area. Of course the microphone positions farthest away from the
PA speakers often account for a lower D50 than those close to the speakers where
the direct sound is usually louder relative to the reverberant, not so defined, sound.
In most of these halls those more distant measurement positions pull the curve
downwards. Some speaker configurations seek, as earlier mentioned, to compensate for this effect. On stage the distance cannot get as long as in the audience area
but on the other hand the PA speakers are more directive than the omnispeaker at
midhigh frequencies. The effect of this is seen on the curve of the omnisource
measured in the audience area.
Not surprisingly the least defined of these groups of sound is encountered on
stage as a result of the reflected higher frequency sound emitted by the PA speakers. If that PA sound becomes too loud on stage the musicians have no choice but
to turn up their monitoring. And if the monitors are open monitors on stage (and
not in-ear monitoring) they may get so loud that the sound engineer operating
the PA system feels obligated to turn up the PA level because the loud monitor
level masks the correct mix in the PA system, even at the sound engineers position among the audience. This is a well-known phenomenon, an evil spiral, leaving
both musicians and audience with too-loud sound levels and worse sound quality
because of monitor sound leakage into open microphones on stage, as well as possible inappropriate monitor sound in the audience. Furthermore, because the lowfrequency sound emitted by the PA speakers is omnidirectional the graph shows
higher values of D50 on stage. Probably the 250Hz band is just omnidirectional
enough to get a high-definition value whereas on stage the 125- and 63Hz values decrease due to a higher reverberation time at these frequencies in the average hall. The later, low-frequency reflections are, as we show, actually the primary
cause for poor acoustics as perceived both by sound engineers and musicians.
Referring to Fig.3.7, it is a fact that the more sound the PA system shoots onto
the walls and ceiling the more the reverberation of the hall is evoked. The recommendations in this book cannot take the effect of the different PA configurations in
different halls into account. The ratings in the following section are a grand mean
of many responses to many halls, therefore it is believed that the effect of different

Results of the Interviews

117

Fig.5.2D50 as a function
of frequency, averaged over
20 halls in the audience
area and on stage for both
omnidirectional source and
PA system

PA systems is somewhat evened out and that the ratings are indeed applicable and
shall be employed in conjunction with an appropriately designed PA system.

General Ratings of the Halls


Each musician and sound engineer assigned a general rating to each hall constituted by a number from 1 to 7, where a 1 corresponded to Excellent and 7 corresponded to Very Poor. The mean general rating for each hall was then calculated
for the group of musicians and for the sound engineers, and the combined rating
was calculated as the mean of the two groups. The ordinal rank of the halls ratings
from 1 (best hall) to 20 (worst hall) for each group and the ordinal rank for each
hall are shown in Table5.1. The halls are sorted by volume in order from smallest
to largest, and it is interesting to note that there is no correlation between the size
and the overall rating.
Interestingly, the driest hall, Stars, is in the tenth place in the musicians ratings
category but is the favorite of the sound engineers, which moves it to the fourth
best rating overall. Stars was also rated the driest on the Reverberance scale (the
only hall rated by the musicians as too dry). So even though the group of sound
engineers in this survey liked the recording studio quality of the hall, it is a good
example that a hall can be too dry for musicians. Later interviews with other sound
engineers have revealed that another group of sound engineers actually prefers
acoustics much like those favored by the musicians. The four lowest-rated halls
have a relatively high T30 and typically a longer reverberation time at lower frequencies. Viften has an extraordinarily long reverberation time in the 63Hz octave
band (over 3s) and in the 125Hz band and much shorter reverberation above
500Hz (around 1s) due to banners on the walls. This is also the hall that the
sound engineers rated the lowest on Clarity Bass.

655
785
890
1100
1420
1440
1600
1600
2080
2150
2540
3000
3050
3300
3800
3950
4500
5400
5800
6500

Rytmeposten
Lille Vega
Loppen
Skren
Paletten
Stars
Voxhall
Snderborghus
Musikhuzet
Godset
Magasinet
Pumpehuset
Forbrndingen
Train
Slagelse
Viften
Amager Bio
Torvehallerne
Store Vega
Tobakken

300
500
350
375
375
400
500
420
700
700
525
600
450
900
700
700
1000
700
1430
1200

Audience
capacity
0.8
0.5
0.9
1.5
1
0.6
0.9
1.2
1.1
0.7
1.9
1.2
1.1
0.8
1.8
2.6
1.2
1.2
1.4
1.5

T30,B
(s)
0.8
0.7
0.8
0.8
0.9
0.6
0.6
1
0.9
0.8
1.3
1.1
0.9
1
1.6
1.2
1
1.5
1.2
1

T30,M/T
(s)
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.9
0.7
0.3
0.5
0.8
1.1
0.5
1.3
1
0.5
0.4
1
1.1
0.8
0.9
0.7
0.8

EDT
(s)
0.6
0.7
0.7
0.4
0.7
0.8
0.7
0.6
0.5
0.6
0.3
0.6
0.8
0.7
0.5
0.6
0.6
0.5
0.7
0.6

D50
(s)
1
0.7
1.2
1.8
1
0.9
1.3
1.3
1.2
0.8
1.4
0.9
1.2
0.9
1.1
2
1.1
0.8
1.1
1.4

Bass
ratio
14
1
5
13
8
10
7
20
9
6
12
16
19
3
17
18
4
15
2
11

10
6
13
12
8
1
5
18
17
4
19
15
11
2
20
14
9
16
3
7

General ratings
Musicians
Sound
engineers
11
3
9
13
8
4
6
19
12
5
18
15
14
2
20
16
7
17
1
10

Combined

The values of EDT and D50 are averages of the octave bands 632kHz. T30,B is averaged from the 63- and 125Hz bands and TM/T is averaged from
2502kHz. The BR is the ratio of the average reverberation time in the 63- and 125Hz bands to the average reverberation time in the 0.52kHz octave
bands

Volume
(m3)

Name

Table5.1Overview of the 20 investigated halls that form the basis of the recommendations in this book

118
5 Recommended Acoustics for Pop and Rock Music

Results of the Interviews

119

Musicians Preferences
It is first of all important to note that all musicians taste regarding acoustics is
not the same. There may be, as mentioned, some instrumental groups that want a
more reflective hall than other groups, and there certainly is a degree of personal
taste involved. The recommendations in this book are a grand mean of instrumental groups and individual preferences. Therefore it is safe to construct venues from
these, but it is also almost certain that someone will not fully agree. Also there is
some influence stemming from what exact genre within amplified music the hall is
to be used for; a Brit-pop band has a different frequency content than an electronic
music act.
The survey of 2005 proved among other things that musicians need halls not
to be too acoustically dead and not too lively either. Probably the most frustrating
for musicians is hearing the music reflected from the audience area loud compared
to the earlier reflections from the stage surroundings including their own direct
sound and that of the monitors. It gives a distancing sensation; the musician feels
detached from his or her own playing and thereby disengaged from the situation.
It is often thought that this can be eliminated with the use of monitors, but neither open monitors nor in-ear/closed headphones can sufficiently mask the sound
of the hall if it is dominant. There is a need for the early sound being enveloping
for the musicians who often move around the stage and this calls for some early
reflections from the stage surroundings. This is indicated by halls with an overall
quite long reverberation time and their quite bad rating such as Torvehallerne and
Snderborghus. Moreover this was confirmed by some musicians who in the survey, as a comment at the end of the questionnaire, specifically stressed that the
worst thing is a small enclosed stage detached from a large hall.
Some musicians are better to cope with this situation than others. For instance,
one of the worlds greatest jazz pianists of all time, Keith Jarrett, stopped his
concert twice during the first set of his 2011 appearance in Copenhagen and
announced that he was unable to play certain tempos as he did not receive any
sound back from the hall. In the intermission a reflective curtain was therefore
lowered covering the huge hole in the proscenium of the hall behind the musicians. Not only did Jarrett and his trio play without further disturbances through
the second set, just as important, the sound engineer was now able to turn up the
PA level considerably for the benefit of the audience, because he did not have to
worry any longer that the PA level would mask the direct monitor sound and early
reflections on stage. So Jarrett got more of a feeling of the music he and his trio
were producing. He was unspecific about what sound he was missing in terms of
where the reflections should come from, but two important lessons can be learned
from that concert: the monitors on stage consisting of both one monitor on the
floor for each of the three musicians and a side-fill system of two loudspeakers at
a greater distance from the musicians were not able to deliver enough sound. Early
stage-based reflections were what the musicians first and foremost needed to feel
good about their playing. Second, they needed a certain idea of what imprint their

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5 Recommended Acoustics for Pop and Rock Music

music had in the audience area, that is, enough late, hall-based reflections from
that area to be audible on stage. They like to be able to hear how the music lands
at the audience because the audience is their primary concern. The louder PA level
provided that in the second set; but very, very important were the late reflections
not louder than what the earlier reflections from stage surroundings could partially
mask. Musicians live for giving audiences a great experience.
Without reflections from the stage area, even with a complete monitor set-up,
the musician will not experience a sensation of being enveloped in his and his colleagues sound. With too much sound coming back from the hall he certainly will
feel enveloped in sound but, too-strong late reflections will make the musician feel
disengaged from his playing and will tend to affect his timing. Of course musicians experience these defects frequently and they cope with them by being somewhat conscious about the sound and navigate accordingly to get timing correct.
But that does not make defects acceptable or recommended. On the contrary, if
both stage and hall are too dead, small and natural timing differences between the
musicians become very clear which can lead to uncertainty and for them to lose
confidence. And ironically, when the confidence is there, there will probably be no
timing issues.
So it is seen that, according to musicians, the acoustics on stage mustnt be
dead compared to those in the hall, and the acoustics in the hall must be neither
too dead nor too lively.

Sound Engineers Preference


Sound engineers are responsible for the sound during concerts given the equipment and band at hand. The sound engineer is placed in the audience area and
therefore has perfect possibilities for knowing what sound impression the audience
perceives. Its safe to say that sound engineers are trying to give their audience as
good an overall experience as possible. Unless really well prepared for, they have
little or no possibility to enhance the acoustics of a hall before a show because
this implies quite dramatic changes in large areas of the hall. The sound engineer
sees it as her job to create as defined and transparent sound as possible and to add
suitable effects such as artificial reverberation into the mix. If the hall does not
add much reverberation itself, or rather if the combination of hall and PA system
does not add much reverberation, the engineer has quite a lot of freedom in playing with artificial effects.
When the question about acoustics in halls is debated, it seems that sound engineers can roughly be divided into two categories: those who want the hall to give
some envelopment, as is the preference of the musicians, and those who like more
control over their outboard effects to be added to the mix. The largest share of
the group of top sound engineers, who were asked in the above-mentioned survey,
had the driest of all halls, Stars, as their favorite. They do admit an element of
selfishness to this preference; after many difficult concerts in inadequate halls

Results of the Interviews

121

they see a concert in Stars as their shining hour; a possibility of having complete
control and freedom because no reflections interfere. Later interviews with other,
equally acclaimed sound engineers have shown that they dont want the hall to
be completely unresponsive. They too, enjoy being surrounded by sound, just like
the musicians and probably also the audiences as long as they can provide a nice
transparent mix too. Sound engineers are trained in the fine art of making a great
mix. That is a completely different mtier than room acoustics.
Many sound engineers like the stage to be quite dead: this prevents sound
from instruments and monitor speakers from being reflected to the audience area
or to leak into open microphones on stage. In this way they can keep as much
unprocessed sound as possible out of the total mix that meets the audience. The
stage reflections entering the open microphones on stage are delayed and possibly out-of-phase with the direct signal. These reflections of course harm the total
mix. Much in the same way regarding the audience area, a relatively dead hall will
make the sound engineer capable of forming a sound experience to his taste on the
PA system.

Debate
So here is in fact often a dilemma between what most musicians want and what
many sound engineers find recommendable. A dead stage leaves the musicians
unable to hear themselves, each other, and the audience sufficiently loudly and
with enough envelopment. Moreover it requires from the point of view of the
musicians a dead hall, for the stage not to be more dead than the hall, and that
they dont want either. This of course opens the debate about who should decide
on what acoustics is appropriate for a venue for pop and rock music. For classical
music there is no sound engineer but there is a conductor who often brings valuable insights into play when discussing recommendations for classical music halls.
Evidently the audience plays the key role. They actually buy the tickets that
pay for the band and sound engineer. So what does the audience want? The most
encountered opinion on this is that the audience wants to experience the fantastic
ambience and incredible moods that are often connected with pop and rock concerts. They want to be drawn into a special atmosphere that is made during the
concert. The better the musicians feel on stage, and the less they worry, the better their chances of creating a great performance, possibly even unforgettable for
themselves and the audience. And remembering that musicians like to hear their
music land at their audience, it is regarded safe to say that when the musicians
are pleased, the audience is pleased too. A musician is not content if her audience
is not. And as we saw, musicians too need quite a clear sound, although not overly
defined, in order to enter a state of togetherness with their colleagues and the audience who then in return share a common bond with the band and each other. And
everybody will praise the sound engineer as well for having participated in creating such an event.

122

5 Recommended Acoustics for Pop and Rock Music

Therefore it is believed to be correct to follow the taste of the musicians which


is identical to that of some sound engineers. Other sound engineers may find these
conditions on stage as well as in the hall a little too reverberant in order to create
the perfect sound they had in mind. These slightly reverberant conditions make
their job a little harder if the band sounds harsh or unprofessional, but it must be
remembered that there are also other interests in play that benefit the whole event.
Many performers have reported their most memorable concerts to have taken place
in halls that were not dedicated halls for music. An acoustics signature of such a
space leaves them with a good impression, as long as they were able to adapt to
the conditions at hand.

Spectral Analysis of Surveyed Data


From all the concerts the author had experienced as a musician he knew that a
long reverberation time at low frequencies was particularly disturbing. This is not
so peculiar and has been known by some acoustical engineers and other professionals for decades. This is due to different factors: the bass sound is amplified by
thousands of watts at pop and rock concerts. By far the biggest share of electric
amplification energy is used below 200Hz and reaches considerable levels as seen
in Fig.3.2. The audience does not absorb much low-frequency sound (Fig.1.16).
Because of a low Q value of bass loudspeakers emitting bass sound the critical
distance becomes very short leading to much reverberant bass sound almost everywhere in the venue (Chap.1, Eq.1.8). Therefore an overall undefined sound will
most often stem from reverberant bass sound that, because of the loud level, will
partially mask even the direct higher frequency sound. Only a controlled reverberation time at low frequencies can make up for this.
From this knowledge the average reverberation times of the 10 highest and the
10 lowest rated halls were calculated and presented in the same diagram as a function of the octave band. To eliminate the factor that bigger halls can admit a longer
reverberation time, the reverberation time of each hall was divided by its volume.
With that normalization the effect of volume was eliminated. The ratings for sound
engineers and musicians were for this purpose averaged into one combined rating
hoping to find a factor that would be important for both groups of professionals.
The result is seen in Fig.5.3. In this figure the upper line shows an expression
of the average RT of the lowest rated halls for each octave band and the lower
line is the average of the best halls. The vertical lines around each point show the
statistical confidence levels. The results of the two groups of halls cannot really be
differentiated from one another above the 250Hz octave band. But it also, more
notably, means that what actually distinguishes the best from the not-so-well-liked
halls is a shorter reverberation time at low frequencies. This is believed to be the
most important finding in the survey. Furthermore, inasmuch as the variances do
not overlap in the two (or three) lowest octave bands, the diagram shows statistical
significance, whereby it constitutes a scientific proof that must be accepted by any

Results of the Interviews

123

Fig.5.3Averaged RT
divided by hall volume for
the 10 best and the 10 worst
rated halls as a function of
the octave band

Fig.5.4Solid line shows


recommended RT for an
empty hall at various hall
volumes. The dotted line is
for the average including the
63Hz band. The line is linear
in the small interval from
1,0007,000m3, but certainly
cannot be extrapolated
linearly to larger volumes.
Applying a logarithmic scale
on the x-axis over large
volumes, recommended RT
would approach a straight
line

scientist or acoustical consultant. This is one factor that has to be fulfilled in making a recommended hall for pop and rock music. This is the single most important
message of this book.
Furthermore, for the best halls the diagram shows a small increase in reverberation time in the 63Hz band. Of course this cannot per se be taken as a recommendation because it is just a result of the average of the halls at hand and this rise is
difficult to avoid. But the increase is an indication that this is acceptable in the
63Hz octave band. As mentioned, the best halls have a significantly lower RT in
both the 63Hz and the 125Hz octave bands compared to the worst halls. It therefore is at least hypothetically possible that an increase in just one of them is
acceptable. Because of this ambiguity, some other venues with an increase of RT
mainly in the 63Hz band were studied (Figs.5.4 and 5.5).2
2 On

a new variable absorption product and acceptable tolerances of T30 in halls for amplified
music; convention paper, ASA, San Diego, 2011, Adelman-Larsen et al.

124

5 Recommended Acoustics for Pop and Rock Music

Fig.5.5Measurements
before (black) and after (grey)
installing tuned membrane
absorbers in a hall

Fig.5.6Approximate
factors of T30 in the octave
bands 634kHz. Factor 1
refers to the relevant value in
Fig.5.4

These investigations lead to an understanding that RT in the 63Hz band can be


a factor higher than that of the 125Hz band. It can even be of advantage that the
hall helps bring forward these power-demanding very low frequencies. Possible
third octave upper tolerance factors of T30 relative to the T30 at 125Hz are: T30 at
50Hz :1.8; 63Hz :1.4; 80Hz:1.2. If the hall has very low RT at higher frequencies the rise at lower frequencies will be audible more easily and therefore not
recommended. A rise at these very low frequencies means that the hall helps that
sound to be acoustically amplified; a doubling of RT gives an extra 3-dB sound
pressure level. It is important to note that the factor of 1.3 shown in Fig.5.6 only
corresponds to the situation mentioned above where the factor increases with the

Results of the Interviews

125

lower one third octave band. A factor of 1.3, 80Hz is not appropriate. The higher
value of acceptable RT in the 63Hz octave band compared to the 125Hz band
is believed to have something to do with the human ears relative insensitivity to
sound at these low frequencies (Fig.1.13).

Recommended Reverberation Time for a Given Hall Volume


A safe choice when designing a venue is to choose a reverberation time that is
constant over a frequency according to the values represented by the solid line in
Fig.5.4. In this figure the combined ratings of sound engineers and musicians are
the basis of the size of the circles for each venue; larger dots mean a better combined rating. The line is a best fit within the largest circles; the five best halls were
given double weight compared to the halls rated numbers 610. The 10 worst halls
were not included in the equation of the line.
This solid line is an average of the frequencies 125Hz2kHz. Often in acoustics
such diagrams only include the mid-frequencies, but because, as pointed out above,
control of the low frequencies is important in pop and rock music halls these must
be incorporated in the recommendation. The dotted line shows the recommended
RT with the 63Hz band incorporated in the average. This was originally done in the
JASA paper (see footnote 1) but was later left out (see footnote2) because as mentioned above, the 63Hz band can be admitted to have higher values of RT.
The acoustics on stage must not differ too much compared to the acoustics
of the hall. In small clubs the sound level is a major concern. If the stage area is
equipped with a lot of sound-absorbing material then the rest of the hall must be
given a similar design. And then RT is apt to drop below the recommendations in
Fig.5.4.

Acceptable Tolerances of T30 in Pop Rock Venues


In the town of Odense in Denmark, the author was asked to design the acoustics
of two different venues. Both were to accommodate pop and rock concerts. Where
one, Posten, would exclusively be used for this purpose, the other one, Magasinet,
was also planned to host more acoustic acts, such as a solo folk guitarist or standup comedy, theatre, and so on. Posten was a completely new building whereas
Magasinet was already a music venue and actually rated number 18 out of 20 in
the survey. Both venues are approximately the same size. With two similar venues
close to each other in a medium-sized town, instead of making identical acoustics,
it was suggested to give each hall its own sound. Posten was therefore built with
quite tamed acoustics in the entire frequency span (63Hz4kHz).
In Magasinet the only acoustic change made was bringing down the overly
long RT in mainly the 125Hz band (from 2.3s to 0.9s) while leaving the hall

126

5 Recommended Acoustics for Pop and Rock Music

with a relatively long RT at higher frequencies (1.4s with some upholstered chairs
dispersed around the room). In that hall there is no midhigh frequency absorption material other than that provided by the upholstered chairs (!). The chairs
are removable, and when very popular bands are playing the hall holds about 700
standing audience members on two levels. The ceiling height in that hall is about
eight meters whereas the balcony and other construction details in the old factory
room make it quite diffusive at all frequencies. No large single portion of the back
wall is apparent because the audience area is somewhat sloped and partitioned by
the balcony. This eliminated the possibilities of an echo effect.
Both halls are very well liked according to musicians and owners. Some sound
engineers say that Magasinet, which is not dampened at higher frequencies, has a
too-loud stage but most musicians love it because they enjoy a phenomenal acoustic contact with the audience as well as with their own sound, both through strong
early and later reflections. The stage room is only dampened at midhigh frequencies by a backdrop woolen curtain. That venue takes a good sound engineer and
a professional band, but with that at hand magic can happen. The town is pleased
with having such acoustically different but very functional venues.
Completely omitting midhigh frequency damping material in Magasinet was
not planned. It was the idea to install a woolen curtain to be drawn in the opening of the balcony that would make up for the presence of an audience there when
the balcony was not in use. That was never installed due to lack of financing after
the complete restoration of the venue in 2007. Furthermore, it had been planned
to install just a little porous absorption in the perimeter of the ceiling in both the
audience and stage areas but this has largely proven to be unnecessary in as much
as the hall owners are overly happy about the result due to the positive feedback
they get from most musicians and audiences. The RT was brought down primarily
in the 125Hz band but also somewhat in the 63- and 250Hz bands by installing
tuned membrane absorbers in the entire ceiling, also in the stage area, as well as
on the large rear wall behind the backdrop on stage. The before and after curves
can be seen in Fig.5.5. The change of RT at higher frequencies (light grey ellipse)
is due to a higher number of upholstered chairs during the after measurement.
The author is convinced, that envelopment and togetherness in general shall
be obtained from a higher value of RT at higher frequencies, not necessarily just
to create a frequency-independent reverberation when the hall includes the audience. There can possibly even be a rise with the audience in place. This is also
where a unique sound for venues can be obtained without jeopardizing the overall
acoustic impression. Magic will happen in such halls. Also there will be songs
that work less well, but never to a degree of the unacceptable. Its like red wine:
a $12 Australian Shiraz will do the job. That resembles a flat frequency response
according to Fig.5.4. But with a $50 red wine, chances are you will get an unforgettable experience, although it may not be appreciated to its full potential with
certain dishes.
Derived from that experience it seemed appropriate to suggest a set of acceptable tolerances around the recommended T30 shown in Fig.5.4 also at higher
frequencies in halls above some 1,0002,000m3. These tolerances are shown in

Results of the Interviews

127

Fig. 5.6. The recommended T30 values in Fig.5.4 correspond to a factor of 1 in


Fig. 5.6. This yields the following recommendations for empty halls of volumes
between 1,000 and 7,000m3:
1. T30 in the 125Hz octave band should be in accordance with Fig.5.4. This
octave band is extremely dominant; ask any experienced sound engineer. It is
by far the band most often encountered as problematic.
2. At higher frequencies, T30 can be higher according to Fig.5.6. This is due to
the high degree of absorption provided by the audience and the air, and due
to higher directivity of loudspeakers at higher frequencies. It is also a fact that
at amplified concerts usually artificial reverberation is added to these frequencies by the sound engineer partly to compensate for little natural hall reverberation. These exact T30 in each band should be chosen by the acoustical engineer
according to what the hall owner is striving for in terms of genre and taste and
to what the general architecture of the building suggests. It is a fact, though,
that higher frequencies easily get overdampened making the low end stand out
more easily. The hall will appear unbalanced.
3. Acceptable tolerances for the factor of T30 in the 63Hz band are as follows:
50Hz: 1.8; 63Hz: 1.4; 80Hz: 1.2 times the recommended value at 125Hz.
A tolerance of a factor of, for instance, 1.4 in the entire 63Hz octave band is
thus not recommended. These tolerances are particularly acceptable if there is
a similar increase of RT at higher frequencies that will help balance the 63Hz
band rise. The reasons why a higher value of T30 in this octave band is acceptable is partly that the masking effect here is less broad (Fig.1.13) and that the
A-weighted sound level in pop and rock music is usually somewhat lower compared to the 125Hz band. Also from Fig.1.9 it is seen that a sound decay in the
63Hz band becomes less audible to humans sooner than a decay in the 125Hz
band because the higher threshold in quiet at 63Hz (see Fig.1.9).
4. Tolerances lower than a factor of 1 from 125Hz and up are to be used in halls
with large balcony areas. It is acceptable here to place absorption material in
the ceiling areas underneath the balcony whereby the RT will drop to lower
levels.
It must be remembered that the extra reverberation, above the factor of 1, at
higher frequencies than Fig.5.6 allows for, calls for a higher level of early reflections at these frequencies on stage too. If the stage is very big or if there is a very
high ceiling above the stage, for instance, a stage tower, it can be recommended to
support the musicians early reflections by a utilizing a set of reflectors that may
be mobile and arranged according to the size of the band. Such reflectors can preferably be diffusive. It is also important that the higher T30 at mid to high frequencies should not be applied in smaller venues due to the risk of ear fatigue unless
the room is very diffusive indeed at these frequencies. On the other hand, if T30 is
chosen lower than unit 1 because of balconies it is still fine to leave the stage not
too acoustically dead.
The fact that higher frequencies can attain higher values of RT can also be seen
in the light that the dynamics of music mostly is expressed at these frequencies.

5 Recommended Acoustics for Pop and Rock Music

128

Although examples of this from pop or rock recordings do not exist, it is true for a
symphonic orchestra or simply an acoustic guitar: when increasing the level from,
for instance, pp to ff the higher frequencies above some 2kHz increase much more
in level than mid and low frequencies (Ptynen and Lokki 2013). The hall should
be able to make these dynamics come forward.
The tolerances given in Fig.5.6 should be useful for companies manufacturing
electronic reverberation systems that emulate real acoustics of halls. Still it must
be noted that stage acoustics must be similar to the acoustics in the audience area.

Suitable Reverberation Times in Larger Halls and Arenas

Fig.5.7Best estimate of
recommendable values of RT
in the 125Hz octave band; a
function of volume in empty
halls and arenas that present
pop and rock music

RT125 Hz [s]

Based on the knowledge that RT in the 125Hz octave band is the most critical
parameter for the acoustic quality of a venue for pop and rock music, as well as on
values of RT actually obtained in certain acclaimed venues in Chap.7 of this book, a
graph of suitable RT over a greater span of volume (stretching beyond 7,000m3) has
been made (Fig.5.7). This recommendation has no subjective studies associated
with it and is only to be regarded as the authors best estimate. It is believed that the
cautious acoustic engineer can employ the tolerances in Fig.5.6 in halls with volumes from approximately 2,00050,000m3, evidently with special attention in large
volumes (critical distance) and in very small volumes (need of diffusion). It is also
possible that volumes larger than 50,000m3 can benefit from higher values of RT at
higher frequencies. The RT values given in Fig.5.7 may seem difficult to obtain
especially at 125Hz. However, compared to values mentioned in a conference paper
from 2007 where RT especially,3 where RT especially for smaller volumes of, for
instance, 50,000m3 are extremely strict, the recommendations in Fig.5.7 are manageable and shown to be more practically applicable.

3
2.5
2
1.5
1
0.5
0
500

5000

50000

500000

Volume [m3]

3Acoustics

Vercammen.

for large scale indoor pop events; ISRA, Seville, 2007. Lautenbach and

Chapter 6

Design Principles

Often pop and rock venues are opened in already existing buildings that were
constructed for another purpose such as a factory or a cinema. In later years
dedicated buildings for the purpose of musical performance have been constructed.
In the first case, the overall building geometry is fixed, leaving limited room for
acoustical optimization, whereas the latter leaves many parameters open for the
architect, acoustical consultant, and the designer of the loudspeaker system as well
as the lighting system. Of course the hall owner, often the community or state,
but also in some cases, private investors, have a general idea of the size needed in
terms of number of audience members that the hall shall accommodate, as well as
the budget for the complete finished venue. If there is already a team of people who
have formerly worked for poprock venues associated with the new project, these
individuals often possess valuable knowhow that should be drawn upon as much as
possible in the planning and design process of the logistics of the building.
There are many important non-acoustical factors to be alert about in the early
architectural planning of the venue. It is not within the scope of this book to go
into detail about these, but nonetheless some important parameters that the author
has often encountered are listed below.
Sound insulation must also be sufficient at low frequencies for the area in which
the venue is to be placed. Future development of the neighborhood must be considered. Lightweight building structures have the advantage of not fully reflecting low
frequencies whereby a low RT is more easily obtained at those frequencies. But the
sound simply is not fully blocked and passes through directly to the outside. This
is very apparent in tents where all low-end frequencies pass through, leaving a high
degree of mid-frequency sound to form the sound field inside (the solution regarding acoustics here of course is to treat the inside of the tent with molton, also known
as duvetyne, curtains, for example). Someone, for instance, the hall owner, must
demand a report from a certified acoustical consultant regarding sound insulation.
There needs to be ease of transportation of musical instruments and so on from
the truck and load-in doors all the way to the stage. The heavy gear is carried in
flight cases on wheels thus even doorsteps must be avoided.

N. W. Adelman-Larsen, Rock and Pop Venues, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-45236-9_6,


Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

129

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6 Design Principles

Correct placement and design of the loudspeaker clusters in the ceiling is


another necessity. Also the attachments need to carry an enormous weight and they
must be carefully designed in an early stage.
It may be a good idea to let an independent specialist do the sound system
design. Some acoustic consultancy firms offer this service too. Some halls have
ended up with unnecessarily large sound systems. Too many loudspeakers can lead
to unwanted late reflections because they will have to point directly into the upper
part of the back wall in order to be fitted into the array or cluster. Line arrays are
most suitable in very big venues or outdoors. Also cardioid subconfigurations are
not necessarily better than normal subconfigurations especially from the point of
view of musicians. Sometimes they are worse.
Some of the lighting and other technicalities are controlled from above the
audience. A correct planning of catwalks may be vital.
The cables from the mixing board to the stage are placed in a small tunnel
underneath the floor. Regarding planning of wiring and the like, a professional
installer should be consulted very early in the design phase.
Backstage facilities must be adequate for various artists different needs.
The acoustic design must also be planned in the earliest phase because it can then
be totally integrated in the architectural design of the hall. Insufficient attention to
the acoustical design in the early design phase may prove very expensive and difficult, if not impossible, to overcome at later stages of the design and/or construction.
The number, size, and placement of escape doors in case of emergency determine the maximum audience capacity. Terrible fire accidents still take place
around the world in discothques and halls for amplified music. Nothing justifies
the loss of life.

Hall Size
The size of the hall is probably the first consideration to make if not already given.
How large an audience must it be able to hold? Are they sometimes supposed to
be seated? The number of audience members that a venue can accommodate of
course depends on the audience floor area but is also a question of how the escape
routes from the building can be planned. Audience densities of up to 3.0 standing
audience members per square meter of audience floor area have been encountered
in the authors survey. The number is much lower if the audience is to be seated.
Considering the ceiling height of the venue, different factors are in play:
A lower ceiling by itself leads to a lower reverberation time and thereby to
smaller areas that have to be covered with absorption. Investigations by the
author show that there is a better correlation between T30 (even in empty halls)
and ceiling height, than between T30 and hall volume. Because the floor area
is usually covered by the (midhi-frequency absorptive) audience, the height of
the hall is the main factor for reverberation.

Hall Size

131

A low ceiling will make the sound from the PA system too loud for the people
in the front and weaker for people in the rear. This may call for more speakers with a time delay. Some basic geometrical considerations will show that if
the hall is long, the ceiling should not be too low. Also the direct-to-reverberant
sound ratio will differ a lot depending on listener position.
A low ceiling will bring the PA system closer to microphones whereby acoustic
feedback will occur more easily.
A too-low ceiling (below approximately 45m) opens the possibility of standing wave problems between the two parallel surfaces of ceiling and floor, especially when not filled by the audience. A fully absorptive ceiling, also at very
low frequencies, reduces this challenge.
Ceiling heights from 6 to10m give good opportunities for good speaker coverage in halls with audience sizes of 5001,800 people (the larger the hall, the
higher the ceiling).
In order to avoid a very big difference in the distance to the closest and the
farthest away audience members, placing the PA speakers high above the ground
is crucial. Almost inevitably the audience in front will be exposed to too-loud levels if the speakers are placed at a lower height because for the sound to be loud
enough in the back of the hall the level at the speakers needs to be considerable.
Most hearing damage at concerts is caused by sudden extremely loud sounds very
close to a speaker. In very long rooms a low ceiling can make the installation of
delay speakers necessary but difficulties can arise regarding even coverage for different audience groups.
One way to house more audience members in a given floor area is by adding one or more balcony levels. Of course this demands a certain height of the
auditorium and it is seen that halls can obtain 35% more capacity by adding one
balcony. Some halls with a ceiling height of only 6m have successfully incorporated a balcony although they dont have a large overhang. The direct sound of
the PA system must be able to reach even the people underneath balcony levels.
Otherwise small delay speakers can be mounted here to compensate for the possible lack of direct sound.
However, acoustic considerations are not the only ones in play when planning the height of a hall. Lighting equipment also calls for a considerable
height, and it may well be that the final decision is not taken from an acoustic
perspective.
In clubs smaller than some 1,0002,000m3 the recommendations in Fig.5.6 are
not eligible. The risk of a harsh sound, due to dominant room modes even at higher
frequencies, can make a higher reverberation time at mid and higher frequencies
unwanted, especially if there is a very low ceiling, unless abundances of diffusive
objects on wall and ceiling surfaces are present. In smaller clubs, the instruments
and amplifiers themselves, and not the PA system, are the important sound sources.
A smaller degree of directivity of the sound becomes apparent. The Q factor of
instruments is usually lower than that of PA speakers at similar frequencies.

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6 Design Principles

Hall Shape
Much attention must be addressed to the shape of the hall. The acoustical
consultant will instruct the architect and hall owner in some ground rules concerning this prior to the first sketches. As mentioned earlier the concept of critical
distance means that audiences far away from the sound source will experience a
higher degree of reverberant sound. The logical consequence of this is (also for
visual reasons) to shape the hall so that as many people as possible are near the
stage. This immediately disqualifies long and narrow halls with a stage at one end
and opens the possibility of a sloped audience floor.
In cases where old premises with this elongated shape are going to be renovated
as halls for amplified music it is a good idea to find out if the stage could be put
halfway down one of the side walls. Perhaps part of a side wall can be torn down
so that a stage can be fitted partly behind the line of the side wall. If this is the case,
care must be taken so not more than some 35% of the total depth of the stage is
behind the wall line, remembering that the stage room must be part of the concert
room and not act as acoustically coupled rooms with their separate acoustics. This
also calls for a big stage opening, preferably in the full height of the hall, as well as
carefully planned loudspeaker coverage on the front corners of the stage. If there is
no other option than to place a stage at the end of a long narrow hall, the hall-end
opposite the stage must be dampened completely at all frequencies also in order to
free musicians from too loud, very late reflections. This dead end will actually be an
appropriate location for a bar because the employees will not be exposed to overly
loud sound, and customers can take a break here from the turmoil. The narrow parallel walls will lead to a high level of reverberation due to standing waves bouncing
back and forth between them. This should probably be somewhat controlled with
partial coverage with absorption or diffusive structures not just in the rear.
It is much better if the room shape in front of the stage is more quadratic.
Because there are usually PA speakers on each side of the stage front, the audience area could also be somewhat rectangular and stretch out a little longer to the
sides. This may lead audiences at each side to feel a little left out visually because
the lead singer, who is responsible for direct communication with the audience, is
often placed in the center of the stage. Therefore the close to square-shaped audience area is good, preferably with the stage stretching throughout the entire width.
Bar areas are typically located as far away from the PA system as possible, if not
in adjacent rooms, also in order for the employees to not suffer from too large
doses of sound.
Many cinemas were built fan-shaped (distance between side walls increase with
increasing distance from the stage) in the mid-twentieth century and such venues
often find a new life as rock clubs. The fan-shaped hall has not survived for classical music because lateral reflections are difficult to maintain at a loud enough level
and because the nonparallel side walls generate less reverberation. For pop and
rock concerts they seem to work very well indeed as long as some envelopment is
maintained in the hall despite the angled sidewalls.

Hall Shape

133

Of course a suitable speaker-to-audience distance is also obtained if the hall


perimeter describes a circle with its center at center stage front. Such concave
shapes are unsuitable acoustically because of the focusing effect unless treated
with absorptive material or, maybe even better, diffusive shapes.
Also important are audience sightlines and the possibility of creating the
desired visual effects with spotlights, and the like. This must all be incorporated
in the first stage of the design phase. A sloped audience area can be incorporated
beneficially as done, for instance, in the O13 in Holland. This will also lead to a
closer to constant distance from loudspeaker to audience.
Not as crucial is symmetry. But a somewhat symmetric design around a center
line that runs down through the middle of the hall is appropriate: that will make
the task of an even loudspeaker coverage easier.

Stage and Its Surroundings


It has become common practice to place the subwoofer speakers underneath the
stage front. A first concern is therefore to make sure that the stage platform is
placed high enough above the floor to make room for the subs. The low frequencies radiate almost omnidirectionally from the cabinets, therefore the stage easily
becomes a victim for bass sound and associated structural vibrations. The hollow
room underneath the stage can become a giant, unwanted resonator box. It is of
major importance to prevent too much of this sound energy to transmit from below
the stage to the upper side of the stage. Therefore it would be a good idea to do the
following.
Make a strong sound barrier between the subwoofers and the hollow space
behind them if a cardioid subwoofer configuration is not adapted. For instance,
concrete 1520cm thick can be used, not light or porous concrete. Mass is a
good insulator against even bass sound.
Make the stage floor very heavy and stiff. In a new building a concrete slab
can be made as the stage floor on top of which a wooden floor on joists can be
placed. Otherwise, in smaller venues, heavy joists or I-beams must be placed
very close (40cm), and several layers of heavy material such as plywood, gypsum boards, and the like must be applied to reach a thickness of no less than
45mm. This will also prevent, for instance, parts of the drum kit from moving
around the floor due to vibrations caused by the musicians movements on the
stage.
Fill the hollow volume underneath the stage platform with damping material
such as mineral wool. There is no need to unwrap it from its plastic packaging.
Approximately two-thirds of the total cavity volume must be filled predominantly at the inner circumference.
Hall owners tastes differ regarding the preferred height of the stage. As
mentioned, there must be room for the subwoofers, and in big halls with a large

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6 Design Principles

audience it is recommended to make it difficult for audiences to fall onto the stage
because of pressure from the standing audience behind them. Usually there is a
fence at a distance from the stage front keeping audiences away from foot pedals
and other gear on stage. In small clubs of a couple of hundred people it looks awkward with a very high stage. Usually stages range from 70120cm in the type of
halls that accommodate audience numbers from about 4002,000.
As a rule of thumb, the acoustics of the stage should, as mentioned in Chap.5,
be similar to the acoustics in the rest of the hall. The stage area often takes up
a considerable part of the hall because when designing the building, the building
owner usually needs to take into account that acts with a considerable number of
musicians, such as a big band, can also fit onto the stage. As mentioned earlier, the
acoustic need, in the event of smaller bands playing, is the opposite: vertical surfaces closer to the players supplying them with early reflections. Mobile reflectors
can be a possibility in the case of a big stage and a small band. Parallel surfaces,
we know, may create flutter echoes so the sidewalls on the stage should either be
slightly angled towards the front of the stage or be made diffusive or even both. Of
course the sound engineers concern is to get as little leakage as possible from
the stage into the processed PA sound among the audience so the two side walls
should not be angled more than 45 each. Both walls should be angled equally.
The musicians would like to hear as much of themselves and their colleagues as
possible from the supportive early reflections from walls. If the side walls are very
far apart this is of no importance and in that case early reflections should be provided by other means. In order to create a space with a well, and more evenly distributed sound energy from all instruments, all walls can be made diffusive.
As stated, the acoustics of the stage area must not be deader than the acoustics
of the hall area. A diffusive stage surrounding, apart from providing early, goodsounding reflections well distributed over the area for the musicians, also makes
the sound that leaks into open microphones more manageable for the FOH engineer compared to more harsh specular reflections. As mentioned before, many
sound engineers prefer the stage quite dead with a lot of absorption in order to
achieve a high degree of control over leakage and to lower the risk of feedback
among microphones and PA system and open monitors. Unfortunately this does
not correspond to the musicians wishes.
If, for instance, in the audience area there is a thick, porous absorptive false
ceiling with a large cavity behind, it can also be so on stage. The stage area must
certainly not be a small box detached from the audience area. That is the worst
nightmare for musicians because it will allow for much deader acoustics on
stage than in the actual hall. For musicians, it is a strange sensation to be playing their instrument on stage but to hear the music 20m in front of them. They
are simply detached from their own music, and wont have a chance of sensing
the connection between what theyre playing on their instruments and how their
music lands in the audience. These two areas should not be separated in the
ceiling either. If some structural support here is unavoidable, it should not take
up more than 56% of the height, for example, a 5060-cm slab for a 10-m-high
ceiling.

Stage and Its Surroundings

135

Usually there is an absorptive backdrop on the back wall. If there is no or only


little midhigh-frequency absorption applied in the hall maybe this backdrop can
be chosen to reflect sound partly. Some velour qualities include a reflective coating. Of course, only frequencies above some 500Hz and below 24kHz are efficiently reflected where the lower pass through and the higher are absorbed. But
some sound is left for the benefit of the musicians. The potential wall behind the
backdrop probably reflects lower frequencies, therefore the velour has finally been
somewhat transparent for the sound below 24kHz altogether. If possible the back
wall can be made decoratively diffusive with no backdrop or a backdrop made of
stage gauze which is almost nonabsorptive. Unfortunately it usually is difficult to
get the hall owner convinced about this because of his or her expectations as to
what a stage for pop and rock should look like. It is understandable because that
wall is after all what the audiences will be looking towards during shows. A normal wool- or molton-type backdrop mimics quite well the absorption properties
of an audience. In this way the stage surrounding with relatively few people and
an absorptive backdrop in front of the back wall ends up having equal acoustical
properties to those of the rest of the hall including an audience, given that ceiling
and side walls are treated similarly in the two spaces.
There should not be a carpet on the floor. A carpet absorbs extremely nonlinearly, and only the high frequencies, on which musicians rely for much of their
timing and dynamic expression. Such a dull sound is uninspiring and without
envelopment. The floor should be left without a carpet also for cleaning purposes.

Surface Materials
The surface materials of any room and how they are mounted makes them responsible for a large portion of the acoustic response of the room. Any material will
reflect, scatter, or absorb sound, or a mixture of them, at different frequencies. The
absolute focus point, when building or restoring a hall for pop and rock music,
is that a lot of low-frequency sound energy must be dissipated. In the design
phase not a floor, not a wall, or the ceiling must be left without considering low-
frequency absorption. And because the midhigh-frequency RT should preferably
not be much lower than low-frequency RT porous absorption material such as
mineral wool products, wooden fiber materials and the like must be employed in
a way so that there is a very high absorption coefficient in the 125-Hz octave band
and to some extent also the 63-Hz band. This of course calls for a thick layer of
porous material at a distance from the reflective surface (such as a concrete ceiling
or wall). Perforated gypsum board and other resonating absorbers are known to
retain some high-frequency sound.
The best and most uniform sound is found in halls with good diffusivity.
This means that absorption must be equally distributed around the hall surfaces
although this often may not be architecturally possible. At concerts the primary sound source, at least if the concert takes place in an actual hall and not a

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6 Design Principles

smaller club, is the PA system. As mentioned, it is very important that not more
loudspeakers are used than necessary, and that they are directed properly and, for
instance, not pointing towards the rear wall but aimed at the audience.
The rear wall, opposite the stage, is crucial. It needs to be only 9m away or
more from, for instance, the snare drum on stage in order to be able to create a
distinct echo. If the rear wall is very close to the stage, diffused reflections from
this may be acceptable. But if the distance is much longer, even diffused reflections are largely regarded as unwanted. They arrive late seen from the musicians
perspective and can challenge their performance if too loud compared to earlier
reflections and direct sound. On the other hand, a sense of envelopment needs to
be present for audience, musicians, and at least some sound engineers. And envelopment stems from reflections.
The author has in some halls designed a communication bridge in the middle of the ceiling down through the entire length of the audience area in order to
achieve a push-effect, meaning an impression for the musicians of their own
musics impact at different times shortly after it is played. But likewise, this hard
reflective surface of a couple of meters of width also makes it easier for the musicians to hear what the public is communicating. The shape of the bridge can also
be somewhat triangular with the tip at the rear of the hall.
The only way to turn down the level of the reverberation is by placing absorption (or diffusion) on surfaces. But, as we know, this also shortens RT. So for the
musicians to experience a little bit of late response, then some of the rear wall, and
other surface areas in the hall can be left without absorption material and made
scattering or simply reflective instead. This is a way of picking the reflections one
wants without creating echoes. This creates a room with overall good diffusivity.
The normal way about it, of course, is to find the appropriate reverberation time
from Figs.5.4 and 5.6 and calculate the amount of absorption needed in all octave
bands from acoustical specifications about different materials absorption coefficients at various frequencies. The amount of needed absorption that is determined
in this way must be evenly distributed around the hall according, for example, to
Sabines equation, because the equation is only valid for perfectly diffuse rooms.
Here computer-based acoustical prediction software, such as Odeon, comes in
handy, because architectural reality only rarely allows for perfect distribution of
absorptive materials. Usually the entire ceiling area is chosen to be covered by the
same material. Furthermore, from an acoustical point of view, there are some considerations that lead to a different priority than perfect diffusivity, regarding where
to place absorptive materials:
The rear wall opposite the stage must not reflect too much sound. The part of
that surface which extends above the audience should be more or less absorptive at all frequencies (unless the hall is very short in which case it can be made
highly diffusive at all frequencies).
If the wall areas close to the PA speakers are closer than a few meters away
from the speakers then some absorption here is good inasmuch as sound propagates around the speaker cabinet and will create unwanted interference with

Surface Materials

137

the reflected sound from the walls (see Fig.3.7). The absorption placed here
should function also at lower frequencies. Approximately 36m2 of broadband
absorption is sufficient in each of these two areas. A more precise impression of
the needs can be obtained by using computer software such as Ease for a given
speaker system and placement in a given hall.
Placement can be in the ceiling, evenly over both audience area and stage.
Placement can also be in the upper part of the side walls. If the room is very
high and a low RT is wanted, then more surface area than just the ceiling and
rear wall is needed for absorption. Again it is advised to always give priority
to LF absorption rather than MFHF absorptive materials. LF absorption and
MFHF envelopment can be created on wall surfaces. Parallel side walls are not
challenging in themselves if not very narrow. If the hall is quite wide no absorption or diffusion is necessary on side walls other than in the stage area. Its worth
noticing that the reverberation will get stronger if there is no diffusion on these
parallel side walls. But we should also remember that reverberation to some
degree is wanted. On the other hand, a diffusive room always sounds better than
a box even when the decay is relatively short such as in halls for pop and rock.

Balconies and Overhangs


Balconies can provide room for a significant number of audience members. If
enough people appear at enough events the income from tickets and so on can pay
the cost and more of building a balcony.
A balcony represents some additional surface area too. The RT in halls with
balconies can be lower than that normally recommended for a given volume (see
Fig.5.6). If the balcony front is facing the PA speakers, it must be made either diffusive (e.g., convex) or absorptive because it can be difficult to avoid direct sound,
primarily from the PA system, to be directed towards that surface. If there are no
upholstered seats permanently present on the balcony level, it can be an advantage
to place a retractable curtain above the balcony front, in the attempt to cut off the
balcony volume acoustically, when not in use. The absorption coefficient of a curtain in front of a wall is very close to that of an audience. However, a freely hung
curtain absorbs even less at mid frequencies. Sound-insulating curtains can then be
applied, some of which have up to seven layers and an attenuation of 18dB.

Floor
When designing the acoustics of a hall for pop and rock according to the guidelines of suitable reverberation times as a function of volume given in Chap.5 it
immediately becomes apparent that large surfaces must come into play and be

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6 Design Principles

treated appropriately in order to succeed in the 63- and 125-Hz octave bands.
Depending on the height of the room and on what absorption coefficients are
chosen and reached in the ceiling area, it is a safe choice to incorporate the floor
to obtain some additional low-frequency control. It is a common misconception among non acousticians that wood sounds good. Well, it depends on what
is needed. Wood placed directly on concrete provides almost no absorption and
doesnt offer much diffusion either. In this regard wood will maintain a long reverberation in the room. But if wood or any plate such as gypsum boards or plywood
is mounted to joists with a cavity behind, partially filled with a damping material
such as mineral wool, then the construction will dissipate low-frequency sound
energy at a frequency interval that depends on the depth of the cavity, the weight
of the plate, the distance between the joists, and so on. Not very high absorption coefficients are attained but because of the large surface area of the floor it
becomes a significant factor. Some sought-after control of the 63-Hz band can be
provided in this way especially.

Stage
The stage floor must be rigid and completely stable. Because the subwoofers are
usually placed under the front edge of the stage, a great deal of low-frequency
sound will propagate backwards and can cause unwanted low-frequency emissions
through the stage bothering the musicians; in addition, the microphones on stage
will pick up this sound and cause trouble for the sound engineer regarding both PA
sound and monitors. Therefore stages should be designed to prevent this as much
as possible. For instance, will a concrete or brick wall be good for shielding the
cavity from the subs as mentioned earlier?

Seating
If anything, the absence of seats is what best describes a hall uniquely used for
rock concerts. In multipurpose halls often mobile seating arrangements are incorporated. It is always a question as to whether the chairs should be upholstered. The
acoustic advantage with upholstered seats is of course that the reverberation time
of the hall can be quite similar regardless of how many audience members are present. During sound checks both the band and the sound engineer will be pleased
with somewhat realistic acoustics compared to what they will experience at the
show. It makes good sense to use upholstered seating with absorption properties
that resemble those of a seated audience. But often halls are being dampened too
much at higher frequencies, especially for classical music genres, and great care
must be taken when choosing the chairs so that the amount of absorption of the
chair does not exceed that of a person, also if a person is seated in it. If the floor

Seating

139

is sloped, the seats are more exposed to the sound from the stage and PA system.
This can lead to surprisingly high absorption values. The same goes for an audience standing on sloped steps.

Platforms
Podiums and other floor-level differences in the hall have been successfully implemented in many of the visited halls. It is nice for the audience to have choices, and
fine for the musicians as well to have different landscapes of audience members
to address. Small islands can also be constructed. One of the 75 visited halls
was of special interest regarding interior geometry and layout. The O13 in Holland
holds almost 2,000 audience members and still the length and width of the room
is only around 20m in front of the stage. Both the balcony and the floor level are
terraced for excellent visibility for every audience member anywhere in the hall.
Likewise, no audience member casts a shadow for the (direct high-pitched) sound
for any other guest. If the slope is steep there can hardly be room for an actual
back wall which otherwise calls for special attention when designing rooms for
amplified music.

Sound Insulation
The very loud sound levels at pop and rock concerts mean that special attention
is demanded when designing the sound insulation of a hall for that purpose. A
certified acoustic consultant should take the responsibility for this challenge. It
is important that the building owner take the necessary steps for this to happen.
Insulating a hall after its completion is an extremely costly task if at all possible.
The future development of the neighborhood may cause unexpected criteria a few
years after the opening of a hall; therefore it is safer to insulate to high standards
when first designing the hall. Discussing sound insulation is beyond the scope of
this book. For the consultant it is practical to know that the sound pressure level at
rock concerts sometimes reaches 105110dB (not A-weighted) at the FOH many
15 or 20m away from the speakers in the 63- and 125-Hz octave bands (Fig.3.2).

Interior Noise Sources


Even pop and rock music is sometimes not overly loud, for instance, during ballads or solo performances. The noise sources within the room such as ventilation, refrigerators, moving spotlights, and the like, sometimes, although seldom,
cause disturbances. Jazz concerts are much more vulnerable to this. For rock halls,

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6 Design Principles

unlike in classical concert halls, such interior noise issues are not to be given a
high degree of attention. But if practical and not overly expensive, the acoustic
designer may to some extent take these issues into consideration. When designing
multipurpose halls or performing arts centers, among others, surely interior noise
sources are a relevant factor.

Multipurpose Halls
All over the world pop and rock concerts are being played in multipurpose halls.
One night such a hall presents a rock concert, the next night a theatrical play,
and the third night chamber music or a choir can be on the poster. As mentioned
in Chap.2, different musical styles call for different acoustics. Ideal reverberation times, (1251,000 or 2,000Hz) in empty halls range for a given volume: for
instance, a 5,000-m3 hall, from 1.0s for a rock concert to over 1.4s for chamber
music to 1.8s for a symphony orchestra (although remember the tolerances given in
Fig.5.6 for amplified music). Even longer reverberation can be aimed at for a choir.
For classical music, a somewhat longer reverberation time at low frequencies
compared to mid frequencies is sometimes sought after, in order to provide warmth
to the sound and enough strength for the instrumentalists and vocalists in the bass
register for them to play or sing effortlessly. It is very questionable indeed whether
this belief should apply to multipurpose halls because it heavily jeopardizes the
acoustics for amplified music. It is a fact that the best symphonic music halls in the
world, Grosser Musikvereinsaal, Concertgebouw, and Boston Symphony Hall do
not show this trait of a longer RT at lower frequencies. So nothing indicates that,
for instance, more envelopment in the bass range is needed. If the will is there to
employ a large enough bass section, or even to amplify a smaller one very delicately electroacoustically, the need for room gain seems to vanish. Hence a frequency-independent RT should be employed also for the classical genres.
Mainly three different approaches are used in order to try to adapt the halls
acoustics for different musical settings:
Physical variable acoustics. Variable acoustic elements can be activated alongside the walls or in the ceiling in the form of acoustic banners, retractable curtains, or movable plates with absorptive material behind. Also movable diffusers
have successfully been implemented. A new technology uses the membrane
absorption principle for variable absorption.
Artificial electronic reverberation systems. These will add artificial reverberation through a very large number of loudspeakers to an acoustically somewhat
dead hall so that it functions better for classical music.
Enlarging the volume of the hall to generate longer reverberation. This is rarely
encountered because it is an expensive solution. In some halls walls can open to
give access for the sound to big reverberation chambers. Also in some halls the
ceiling can be raised or lowered.

Multipurpose Halls

141

Usually electronic acoustics are not favored by (classical) musicians who find
that the way their acoustic instrument resonates should not be treated electronically. Needless to say, the thousands of reflections from every little surface that
acoustics in more lively halls are a result of cannot be substituted by any large
number of loudspeakers emitting artificially processed sound. Therefore this may
be an idea for halls that only very rarely have classical concerts and it will surely
function better than a completely dead room.
Physical variable acoustics seem to be a more logical and straightforward solution because this method copes with the challenge where it starts: on the reflecting
surfaces.
Physical variable absorption often suffers from an important flaw: the variability mainly lies at frequencies above some 300Hz which are proven to be the
not-so-important frequencies in regard to pop and rock music. As a matter of fact,
the absorption curve for traditional acoustic banners is often almost identical to
the absorption curve of an audience. In some cases a relatively high absorption
at low frequencies can be achieved with curtains and banners, but this seems to
some extent to depend on the diffusivity of the hall among other things. Still,
porous absorption will usually absorb more high-frequency sound that then will be
absorbed twice due to audience absorption. Hence the bass reflections will still
mask higher frequency sound. Furthermore, it is very likely that an over dampening of high frequencies makes it difficult for the musicians to express, and for the
audience to experience, the dynamics of amplified music. This is true, for instance,
for acoustic guitar and a complete symphonic orchestra. High-frequency variable
absorption can be used to make up for audience absorption (Figs.1.16 and 5.6) in
cases where seats with absorption properties similar to those of an audience are
not installed.
Another flaw is that some devices have a quite high absorption coefficient in
one or more bands even when in the off position. It is a major concern that the
entire frequency span of the fundamental frequencies of musical instruments
(631,000 or 2,000Hz) is altered more or less linearly because it makes no
sense that certain registers on some instruments receive a very different acoustic
response from the hall than others. Another approach for the acoustical engineer
in the design of a multipurpose hall would be to apply the tolerances for amplified
music given in Fig.5.6. This calls for variable absorption that works best in the
125-Hz octave band.
A new technology by the author, the AqFlex system, has solved both of these
challenges. It absorbs almost linearly in the frequency span from 631,000Hz and
can be implemented in the ceiling with an absorption coefficient of up to approximately 0.5 which permits a lowering of reverberation time of some 40%, depending on hall height, at the push of a button. It does not absorb mid frequencies more
than low frequencies, therefore the technology eliminates the issue of low reverberant sound energy masking higher frequencies and also avoids the problem of
inadequate bass response from the room at classical music concerts. Apart from
ensuring low-end absorption the invention also helps the high frequencies not to
be over dampened by the audience and air because its absorption coefficient rolls

142

6 Design Principles

off above 1kHz. A sense of sought-after HF envelopment will be apparent in the


hall at any event. Absorption coefficient is close to zero in all bands in the off
position.

Music Schools
Most music schools have a larger room of approximately 1,000m3 that is used
both for ensemble rehearsals and for concerts. Usually all kinds of music are
played in this type of room. In order to alter the acoustics to fit a certain genre it is
important to lower all the frequencies of the fundamental frequencies of the instruments in play equally. All musical instruments have fundamentals somewhere in
the 125500 octave bands and these are the absolute most important bands to vary.
What distinguishes the best from the worst halls for amplified music is a low RT
most predominantly in the 125-Hz octave band (see Fig.5.6). But this is also the
loudest register in, for instance, the male voice, and with a choir or other classical
genres the hall must carry this frequency band out as much as higher frequencies.
So this calls for a long RT in that band. It is actually crucial that the absorption
coefficient be as close to constant as possible in frequency bands from 63 to at
least 1kHz in order to alter acoustics depending on genre efficiently. The abovementioned AqFlex system complies with these demands.
Also of importance is to be able to adjust the hall to whether there is an audience. As we know this is easily done with retractable curtains in front of walls.
Curtains on all four walls are a good and easy way of making sufficient variability
to make up for a packed audience in such halls. They should be drawn at rehearsals and removed for concerts. Because acoustic adaption to genre should be linear
and adaption to whether there is an audience should comply with the absorption
curve of an audience, preferably two different variable acoustic systems should be
used as described.

Chapter 7

Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock


Music Concerts

Ancienne Belgique (AB)


Number of concerts per year in this hall: 120. In all halls in the venue: 320
Founded: 1979
Capacity: 2,000
Architect: Werner E. De Bondt
Acoustician: NA
The Ancienne Belgique (AB) is a concert venue, in the very center of Brussels. As
a leading musical venue, AB has already been programming international names,
national chart toppers and emerging new talent for more than 30years. An exceptional amount of attention to local talent and the Dutch language prevails in daily
operations. More than 500 bands perform on the stages of the AB in the course of
320 concert days per year.
AB is the first pop and rock temple to receive recognition as a Grote Vlaamse
Cultuurinstelling. This means AB is now one of the key cultural organizations in Flanders, a position it shares with deSingel, the Flemish Opera, and the
Museum for Contemporary Art Antwerp (MuHKA). AB received this recognition becauseaccording to the Flemish Minister of youth, sports, culture, and
Brusselsit carries out a local and international pilot function (AB stimulates and
promotes more Flanders in the world and more of the world in Flanders) and
because their program reaches high standards of international quality.
The present-day Ancienne Belgique is located in a historic spot in the heart of
Brussels. It used to be the house of the merchantsoverseas tradersof whom the
first traces go back to the eleventh century. Three centuries later the complex had
evolved into a real center with a sociocultural function. The only visible evidence
of that time is the inscription on the faade: Meersliedenambacht 1781. The Belle
Epoque brought along new glory: from 1906 to 1913 the Vieux Dusseldorf was
very popular with its German style interior, 1,500 seats, and many enthusiastic couples on the dance floor. On December 21, 1913 a renovation (the first one in a row!)

N. W. Adelman-Larsen, Rock and Pop Venues, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-45236-9_7,


Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

143

144

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

was started. This resulted in Bruxelles-Kermesse, also a kind of brasserie but now
with a variety of artists and theater elements. In the 1920s the basement was turned
into the Caveau Flamand where young literary talent found a way to the public.
In 1931 the entire building was bought by Mathonet, a man from Lige. This
was the beginning of the Ancienne Belgique era. Lige, Ghent, and Antwerp have
similar venues but the Brussels one, our AB, will survive them all thanks to the
life work of Mathonets son, Georges. He turned the place into one of the leading European music halls. Driven by its success the building was bound to be torn
down. Well, the time had come to build a bigger venue, a building that nowadays
is known as the Ancienne Belgique.
In the Second World War Mathonet was more vigorous than ever: he honorably
participated in the Resistance. The liberation brought a true explosion in the world
of amusement and Mathonets AB was somehow the center of all of this. On the
scene we had Annie Cordy, Charles Trenet, Gilbert Bcaud, Aznavour, Brassens,
Piaf, and Adamo. Jacques Brel called it an excellent school. In 1955 Bruno
Coquatrix turned an old Paris cinema into the most famous music hall of the world:
the Olympia. He and Georges Mathonet became partners. Ten grand years followed.
In the 1960s, Johnny Halliday, Jacques Dutronc, France Gall, and Claude
Francois appeared there. After the fire at the Innovation (1967) Mathonet was
forced to secure the building with concrete. This huge investment turned out
to be fatal. The attempt to turn the Ancienne Belgique into a Paris Lido for the
Eurocrats failed. A call for subsidies went unheard. In 1971 the Ancienne Belgique
filed for bankruptcy. Georges Mathonet died shortly after and the building fell into
ruin. In 1977 it was bought by the Ministry of Finance. Finally there was good
news: together with the Botanique the Ancienne Belgique was presented to the
Flemish and Walloon cultural departments.
The Flemish prefer the AB for its central location, its popular background,
and its wide range of entertainment possibilities. You could compare it to the
Mallemunt spirit: providing the Dutch-speaking community with a friendly meeting place right in the center of the capital, a creative spot, a place to be for the
young. The original name was kept: Ancienne Belgique, but the abbreviation AB
became more and more common. Secretary of State Rika Steyaert opened the AB
in 1979 with the famous words, This is a house of hope. The qualities of the
venue were tested and some defects came up: the building was crumbling and
not soundproof at all. All this and too many young people in that quiet and sleeping street made the City Council close down the AB in 1981. A major renovation
was inevitable and started in 1982. Architect Werner E. De Bondt renovated the
Bar Amricain and then started building a new main hall. He opted for a robust
and spectacular interior design in a high-tech dimension. Circles on two different levels guaranteed intimacy and the overall atmosphere of the hall was set in
a warm, red color. The opening on December 23, 1984 was a memorable event in
the history of the AB. However, the noise continued to be a problem and has had
a fatal effect on the bill. The youth-oriented approach of the AB was mocked by
policy-makers. Dark years followed, until a new dynamism emerged in the house.
Partying through the night made way for a strictly respected closing-time.

Ancienne Belgique (AB)

145

Despite the power of the crew, with Jari Demeulemeester as artistic director
(director-general from 1988), fear reigned at the AB: police interventions, fines,
and threats from the biggest law firms constantly reminded them of the danger of
yet another shutdown. In 1986 Secretary of State Patrick Dewael ordered a thorough investigation concerning the noise. The report was disastrous but hopeful at
the same time and led to a new architectural plan and a new architectural team.
In 1991 Secretary of State Hugo Weckx agreed to finance a huge contemporary
center for popular quality culture. His successor, Luc Martens, safeguarded the
demanding but ambitious project, The music house Ancienne Belgique, a project of the Flemish community in the capital, as it was called at the opening on
December 6th, 1996. The premises were enormously vast and technologically
world-class. The main entrance was no longer in the rue des Pierres. There you
now have the caf and the ticket shop. Equipment can be loaded and unloaded at
the loading bay or via the Square Lollepot at the back of the building. Upstairs
there is a second, smaller hall: the club. Another advantage: the AB has its own
recording studio. From this studio we can go around the world, live, via satellite
or through the Internet. Over the years, through all the renovations, the AB profile
has always been the same with the goal of presenting contemporary music, made
by people of today and about the world in which they live. They want positive
press advertising the newest repertoire and the newest act to fans and music lovers;
in short: presenting interesting artists to a broad public of people living and thinking today. The belief in a passionate relationship between the artist and the public
persists. Recent acts including Alice Cooper, Bon Iver, Brian Wilson, Queens of
the Stone Age, Public Enemy, Vampire Weekend, MGMT, Joe Jackson, and Randy
Newman have visited AB.

Humour, attitude, and personality. Belgian metal sensation Channel Zero


enjoys a sold-out AB (picture: Gino Van Lancker).

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7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

AB is the best venue in Europe... no, in the world! Mike Patton, Faith No
More. There is an option of installing an extra 400 chairs for a total of 700 seats.
Many diffusive ducts increase the absorption also supplied by the audience.

Ancienne Belgique (AB)

147

148

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Geometrical data
Volume
Height, audience area
Surface area of stage
LWH

9,500m3
11.7m
270m2
45.318.511.7

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

1.41
1.41
1.49
1.73
1.23
1.12
0.72
0.87
1.02

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Concrete/gypsum board on cavity. Many diffusive ventilation ducts, and
so on. Porous absorptive plates are placed under balconies.
Walls: Wooden panels on gypsum boards on cavity. Some wooden boards are slit
absorbing panels some are plates.2cm of cavity behind wooden panels on floor
and 1st balcony level. 8cm of cavity on 2nd balcony.

Stage Area
Floor: Vinyl on wood direct on concrete.
Ceiling: Concrete/gypsum board on cavity.
Walls: Wood wool panels.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty: no additional seats mounted.

State of Hall When Measured

149

T30 in audience area


4

T30 [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


4

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

150

EDT on stage
4

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

LAeronef

151

LAeronef
Lille
Number of concerts per year in this hall: NA
Founded: 1989
Capacity: 2,000
Architect: NA
Acoustician: NA
LAronef was started in 1989 by Jean-Pascal Reux and Alain Bashung. In
1995 it was moved to new premises in the building dEuralille which was designed
by architect Jean Nouvel. It holds some 2,000 people.

View from stage into the hall mainly made out of concrete covered by curtains.

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7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

There is room for an additional 500 people in the balcony areas for a total of
approximately 2,000.

LAeronef

153

S1
SOURCE
S2

3
4

2
5
1

10

20

30

METERS

154

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH

8,500m3
322412

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

1.39
1.36
2.20
2.54
1.78
0.96
0.73
1.87
1.65

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Concrete. 430-m2 convex reflectors of wood fiber plates suspended from
ceiling with 520cm of porous absorption on top.
Walls: Concrete with large areas of 5-cm thick porous absorptive panels well distributed in room including back wall. Some of these are behind perforated metal
plates. Wool curtain 1m from back wall.

Stage Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Concrete. Lowered somewhat perforated technicians grill of aluminium
with 4-cm mineral wool slabs on top.
Walls: 5-cm thick porous absorptive panels hidden behind perforated metal plates.
Woolen curtain m from back wall.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty. Two large doors were open. Balcony opening was covered with Molton.
Unupholstered seating risers were packed away at the rear of the hall for standing
audience performances.

State of Hall When Measured

155

Stowed away seats against the back wall are an effective broadband absorber if
upholstered
T30 in audience area
4

T30 [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

156

EDT in audience area


4

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

1k

2k

4k

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

EDT on stage
4

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]


D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

Alcatraz

157

Alcatraz
Milan
Number of concerts per year: 160
Total number of events: 250
Founded: 1997
Capacity: Over 3,000
Architect: Daniele Beretta
Acoustician: N/A
Owner: Roberto Citterio
The building in which it is located, which goes back to 1946, first housed a
garage and then a forwarding agency. In 1997 and 1998, the facility was completely renovated, with the precise and ambitious aim of creating an area capable
of meeting all the needs linked to events, shows, and musical performances. The
project originated with music industry professionals with a decade of experience
and unforgettable productions, who felt the need to create a self-sufficient and
functional organization. Alcatraz has always distinguished itself by its versatility.
With an overall area of 3,000m2, Alcatraz is a multipurpose space that, because
of its well-organized set-up and flexible structure, offers endless creative possibilities not only for important events, but also smaller and more intimate events.
Within just a short time, it became a location for fashion shows and conferences,
private parties, a television program, and a venue hosting performances by the
most extravagant artists. Alcatraz is located close to public transport, has private
parking, and is located near the Isola district. It is a symbol of the freedom to create when ideas are not subjected to any constraints.
Alcatraz is not just a versatile and accommodating space; it is also made by
human capital capable of providing high-level technical, logistical, and organizational support and services at each stage of an event without leaving out a single
detail. The facilities are spread out over an area of 3,000m2, and are divided into
different spaces that can be modified and custom made to the event. The viewing
facilities, the technological systems, and the huge air conditioning tubes become
an integral part of the fascinating architecture. Because it has no supporting columns, the 1,800 m2 parterre has no architectural obstructions and lends itself to
countless possibilities for creativeness, thanks also to the possibility of dividing
spaces through a system of curtains that run on tracks.

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7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Smaller platforms are placed on the sides of the large audience area as well as a
balcony level in the back.

Mid- to high-frequency T30 is under control mainly because of a quite thin


layer of porous absorption in the ceiling. The porous concrete walls helps dissipate
sound energy in the entire frequency span whereas the lower tones probably are
never reflected from what seems to be a thin roof construction. This would cause
noise problems in inhabited areas.

Alcatraz

159

160

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH
Surface area of stage

15,000m3
52307.813.2m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Panels of porous absorptive material behind perforated metal plates.
Walls: Porous concrete.

Stage Area
Floor: Wood direct on concrete.
Ceiling: Panels of porous absorptive material behind perforated metal plates.
Walls: Porous concrete.

State When Measured


Empty, no curtains.

1.47
1.35
1.30
0.96
0.89
0.84
0.66
0.82
0.49

State When Measured

161

View from balcony towards the stage.

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

162

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

Apolo La [2]

163

Apolo La [2]
Barcelona
Number of concerts per year: 300
Founded: 2006
Capacity: app. 400
Architect: Daniela Hartmann
Acoustician: Jordi Martn
In 2006 a second venue, La [2] de Apolo with a capacity of 400 people was
opened. This space is for medium-sized concerts and it is probably the venue
that works the most in Spain, with more than 300 concerts per year. Not only
has the big venue received great artists, but also Clem Snide, Hayseed Dixie,
The Zombies, Wovenhand, Damo Suzuki, Herman Dne, Dick Dale, and Lisa
Germano among others.
Both venues have become a referent for the Spanish music community, and the
dream is to keep it for years.

The modern look of La [2] is enhanced with the metal lattice panels by the
walls. Such structures may, if not carefully designed, like ventilation shafts prove
to rattle noisily due to high bass levels during concerts.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

164

5
4
ST1
3
SOURCE

2
1

10

ST2

20

30

METERS

Apolo La [2]

165

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH

1,000m3
15164.0m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.5k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 vs. 0.51k

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Mineral wool product on cavity.
Walls: Several layers of gypsum board on cavity. Decorative metal lattice.

Stage Area
Floor: Wood direct on concrete.
Ceiling: Mineral wool product on cavity.
Walls: Several layers of gypsum board on cavity, curtains.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty.

0.75
0.64
6.90
1.09
0.92
0.22
0.94
1.75
1.02

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

166

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

1k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

State of Hall When Measured

167

EDT on stage

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

168

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Apolo
Barcelona
Number of concerts per year: 270
Founded: 1936, reopened: 1989
Capacity: 1,200
Architect: Unknown
Acoustician: Jordi Martn
Located in Barcelonas downtown, Apolo opened its doors in 1936 as a
b allroom with orchestra. It wasnt until 1989 that the venue became a rock and
pop concert hall due to the increasing cultural demand of the city. The inside of the
building is still made of wood, giving a beautiful old look to the space according
to its age.
The venue has capacity for 1,200 standing people or 700 with seats, and technically, is one of the most well equipped in Spain. This is proved with the approximately 270 concerts that take place here each year. In addition, the infrastructure
of the building and the technical materials are constantly being renewed to provide
both musicians and promoters with the best conditions for the shows.
Here is a short list with some of the most important artists that have played
at Sala Apolo: Smashing Pumpkins, Coldplay, Joe Satriani, Built to Spill, Yo la
tengo, Dinosaur Jr, Goldfrapp, Beth Gibbons, Sepultura, Coco Rosie, Edwin
Collins, Band of Horses, Tindersticks, Jonathan Richman, Gutter Twins, Solomon
Burke, Robben Ford & Bill Evans, Low, and Devendra Banhart.
One of the biggest achievements of this venue is to support national bands that
over the years have become important in the scene. Some of them are El Guincho,
La Mala Rodrguez, Standstill, Mishima, or Lori Meyers. The aim is not only to
produce concerts, but also to create a new and young local scene to improve the
cultural life of the city.
Sala Apolo has also collaborated with important festivals such as Primavera
Sound since their beginnings.

Apolo

The main hall at Apolo is kept somewhat in the original style from 1936.

The balcony areas are popular not only at sold-out concerts.

169

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

170

B2

B1

3
S
5

ST1

ST2

10

20

30

METERS

Materials Used

171

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH
Surface area of stage
Height of stage

2,800m3
24196.3m
1.15m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Wood direct on concrete; platforms are wood on cavity.
Ceiling: Lowered (25cm) porous absorptive ceiling.
Walls: Plates on cavity, one concrete wall.

Stage Area
Floor: Wood on concrete.
Ceiling: Lowered (25cm) porous absorptive ceiling.
Walls: Plates on cavity, curtains.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty.

0.98
0.97
3.61
0.92
0.95
0.43
0.86
1.83
1.49

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

172

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

State of Hall When Measured

173

EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

1k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

174

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Astra
Berlin
Number of concerts per year: 120. In all halls in the venue: 320
Founded: 2009
Capacity: 1,000
Architect: N/A
Acoustician: N/A

The large porous absorption-filled cavity above the suspended lamella ceiling
ensures acoustic control even at low frequencies.

Astra

175

ST2

1
2

ST1
S

4
3

10

20

30

METERS

176

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH

2,800m3
33194.6m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

0.89
0.81
5.78
1.03
0.99
0.41
0.85
0.71
1.62

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Wood direct on concrete.
Ceiling: Slit absorber: thin metal brackets of 10-cm width and 1.5-cm space;
50-cm mineral wool on top.
Walls: Lower region: wooden panels on 1cm of cavity; painted brick wall.
Upper region: Wooden strips on 2cm of porous absorption.

Stage Area
Floor: Carpet on wooden plates on cavity.
Ceiling: Same as audience area.
Walls: Curtains in front of brick wall.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty.

State of Hall When Measured

177

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

178

EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

1k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

Bikini

179

Bikini
Toulouse
Number of concerts per year: 150
Founded: 1983/2007
Capacity: 1,500
Architect: Didier Joyes
Acoustician: Christian Malcurt
Le Bikini was originally situated on the border of the river Garonne in the
center of Toulouse. It opened on the 25th of June 1983 simply as a nightclub but
rapidly transformed into a music venue. Beginning with only a couple of bands a
month, it later became very busy and presented a total of 5,000 concerts up until
2001. Le Bikini commenced as the place where local amateurs became hardened
in the genres of the time and the taste of the audience.
In 2001 an explosion at a factory next door destroyed the venue. During the
following six years Le Bikini arranged about 500 concerts in other venues before
rebuilding the completely new spectacular premises used today.
Throughout the following years Le Bikini became one of the best known
music clubs in France and an inevitable stage for national as well as international
acts. It is also club a where many well-known artists such as Rita Mitsouko, les
Stranglers, Pigalle et les Garons Bouchers, Noir Dsir, Mecano, and Lloyd Cole,
were born and where stars such as Brurier Noir, Paul Young, la Mano Negra,
Little Bob, Kent, OTH, Jeff Buckley, NoFX, Tool, Franois Hadji-Lazaro, Muse,
Coldplay, Placebo, -M-, Zebda, les Fabulous Trobadors, Arno, Korn, les Pogues,
Elvis Costello, LKJ, Louise Attaque, Mickey 3D, Soulfly, Indochine, Jeff Mills, St
Germain, and Carl Cox are sure to return.

180

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Three layers of balconies ensure that everybody there has a great view of the
stage.

Le Bikini is extreme acoustical engineering at work. Reflective surfaces are


mainly floors.

Bikini

181

B3
S
St2

B2
4

ST1
B1

10

20

30

METERS

182

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH
Surface area of stage

7,000m3
331910.2m
270m2

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Configurations of different layers of mineral wool slabs.
Walls: Extreme configurations of different layers of mineral wool slabs.

Stage Area
Floor: Wood direct on concrete.
Ceiling: Configurations of different layers of mineral wool slabs.
Walls: Configurations of different layers of mineral wool slabs.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty: no additional seats mounted.

0.5
0.56
11.41
0.72
0.95
0.29
0.91
1.63
1.59

State of Hall When Measured

183

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

184

EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

1k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

Cavern

185

Cavern
Liverpool
Number of concerts per year on main stage: 500. On both stages in the venue: 800
Founded: 1957/1984
Capacity: 350
Architect: David Backhouse
Acoustician: N/A
The Cavern Club in Liverpool is the cradle of British pop music. Impressively,
so many years after its foundation, it survives and thrives as a contemporary music
venue. Through those eventful decadesbefore, during, and after The Beatles
reignthe legendary cellar at 10 Mathew Street has seen its share of setbacks yet
has played a role in each epoch of music. In fact, with the Marquee and CBGB
out of business, the Cavern is maybe the best-known rock club today. The front
stage located at the end of the central vault with the traditional archways on either
side is used every day from the afternoon onwards for soloists and bands playing
cover versions of Beatles music and covers of other standard guitar band music.
Admission is free Monday to Wednesday and there is a small general admission
charge after 8 pm Thursday to Sunday.
The Cavern was born in a warehouse basement built to service Liverpools
teeming nineteenth century waterfront. Hidden amid a warren of cobbled passages
by the citys shopping and business districts, Mathew Street was a dingy crooked
canyon unknown to anyone who didnt work in its gaunt storerooms or drink in its
only cheerful corner, the tiny Grapes pub. That all changed in 1957 when a local
promoter called Alan Sytner dreamed of emulating the Parisian Left Bank jazz
clubs, those subterranean dives where femmes fatales and French philosophers
met to escape the straight world upstairs. Merely to imagine such a place in mundane Liverpool was a romantic vision indeed, but Sytners plan was a winner. On
the Caverns opening night, January 16th, 1957, 600 fans crammed inside to see
The Merseysippi Jazz Band (like the Cavern, theyre still going strong) and about
1,500 were left outside.
Although jazz was hot in the late 1950s, a new musical mood was gathering force across Britain, especially in Liverpool. Skiffle, the folk style with a
rocknroll influence, played DIY-style on cheap guitars and domestic utensils,
threw up hundreds of teenage acts including John Lennons Quarrymen, who soon
included Paul McCartney. They played the Cavern, as did Ringo Starr in a rival
skiffle act. Under the clubs new owner, Ray McFall, from 1959 the jazz identity
of the Cavern began giving way to the musical revolution now brewing in the city.
Beefing up their sound with imported US influences, the groups had evolved a distinctive Liverpool style that would soon be christened Merseybeat.
The Quarrymen evolved over a four-year period into the Beatles, of course,
who became the Caverns signature act and were talent-spotted here by Brian
Epstein, the suave young businessman from a nearby record store. Alongside other

186

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Cavern regulars, the Beatles led a Liverpudlian takeover of British pop in 1963. In
turn they inspired the British Invasion of America itself, effecting a transformation of global pop culture that shapes the world we live in today.
The Beatles played the Cavern almost 300 times, including lunchtime sessions.
Along with Hamburg, its unquestionably the place where their musical identity
was forged and it was the nucleus of an early fan base that was to spread around
the globe. The band themselves were always nostalgic about the Cavern. In the
fractured final days they attempted, poignantly, to rediscover their lost solidarity as
a tough young Liverpool combo. The tune Get Back was ostensibly inspired by
spirit of the Cavern.
In the wake of the Beatle boom the Cavern became a prestige port of call for
everyone from the Rolling Stones to Queen, who each played early gigs here. In
truth it was a pretty basic kind of place, a disinfected dungeon. Descending the
slimy steps from Mathew Street the visitor was plunged into an underworld whose
air was a rancid fug of body odor, cigarette smoke, hamburger smells, and a little
something from the toilets. But the venues triple tunnels gave an almighty acoustic boost to any rock band; in those early days of puny amplification, the Cavern
sound was uniquely powerful and its atmosphere electrifying. In the early 1960s it
was the most exciting shrine of the youth revolution.
But even at the height of its fame the Cavern was not a secure business. As
Merseybeat passed from favor, so the Clubs iconic status waned (while the
Council grew ever more alarmed at that infamous lack of sanitation). Still, its
closure in 1966 came as such a shock that it quickly attracted new investors and
was reopened by no less a personage than the prime minister of the day, Harold
Wilson. Later years saw the Cavern adapt to modern customs with the introduction
of alcohol and the addition of a disco room. Sadly, its historic standing didnt stop
the Council closing it in 1973 to allow for work on an underground railway line.
The ancient warehouse was demolished and the cellar itself, rubble-filled, lingered
like a sealed tomb until 1981.
Yet something in the Caverns spirit refused to die. A short-lived New Cavern
opened across the street, was then renamed Erics, and spawned a whole new
wave of Liverpool stars, from Elvis Costello to Frankie Goes To Hollywood.
Meanwhile, Lennons murder in 1980 awoke the city of Liverpool from its apathetic indifference to the Beatle heritage. In 1984 the real Cavern site was
reclaimed and an exact replica of the old Club was built in situ, using 15,000
bricks from the original cellar. This is the Cavern of today, proudly back at 10
Mathew Street, an authentic and evocative location that draws visitors and bands
from across the world. Obviously its the ultimate place of pilgrimage for Beatle
fansand much less hazardous than a certain London pedestrian crossingbut
its an important modern venue, too. In recent years the Cavern has hosted memorable shows by Arctic Monkeys, Travis, Embrace, K.T. Tunstall, and Liverpools
own The Coral, to name only a few.
The most memorable show of all, though, was on the night of December 14th,
1999, when the Cavern marked the new millennium with a back-to-basics gig by

Cavern

187

Paul McCartney. It goes without saying that the club was packed, but in fact a
far wider audience watched as well, thanks to a pioneering webcast that broke
new ground in a high-tech medium undreamt of in Pauls early Cavern days.
The latterday club has a larger additional stage, as well as its faithful facsimile
of the vintage model; it occupies over half of the original space, and the stage
McCartney played upon is merely feet away from the site of those first Quarrymen
appearances.
Nowadays Mathew Street is a prime tourist destination, lined with bars, shops,
plaques, and statues. There is a long-held school of thought that holds it is a place
of mystic energy, long-held, admittedly, by people who have spent entire afternoons in the Grapes or the Cavern pub. But close to the clubs front door is a bust
of Carl Gustav Jung inscribed with his assertion that Liverpool is the Pool of
Life, and many agree with him Across the way, a life-sized bronze John Lennon
lounges against the wall, kissed and photographed by a thousand strangers a day.
Beneath his hooded gaze the music fans still troop into the Caverns entrance for
an experience they will never forget. Let these songs stand in tribute to a little hole
in the ground that really changed our world.
Extract from Paul Du Noyers book, Liverpool: Wondrous Place is published
by Virgin Books.
The other stage in the club (Cavern Live Lounge) is primarily used for ticketed
shows featuring various tribute bands, established artists, and young contemporary
band nights. There is seating for 170 people; alternatively the seating can be taken
out for a standing audience of 350 people.

While the Cavern was still a jazzclub. Merseysippi Jazzband late 1950s.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

188

The Cavern was reconstructed after it had been demolished and closed down
from 19731984 due to the construction of a subway. Near field speakers distributed in the ceiling.
2
ST1 S

10

20

30

METERS

Materials Used

189

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH

600m3
21112.7m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

1.09
0.96
4.01
1.06
1.13
0.34
0.86
1.3
1.23

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Brick.
Walls: Brick.

Stage Area
Same as audience area. Stage is made of wooden plates on hollow cavity.

State of Hall When Measured


Few people at tables; tables and chairs. No curtains at the time of the measurement.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

190

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

State of Hall When Measured

191

EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

192

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

La Cooprative de Mai
Clermont-Ferrand
Number of concerts per year: approximately. 55. In both halls in the venue: 125
Founded: 2000
Capacity: 1,500 standing or 850 seated
Architects: P. Borderie, R. Kander, and J. M. Louviaux.
Acoustician: Emmanuel Giroflet, Thermibel.
La Cooprative de Mai is certainly the main rock venue not only of the city of
Clermont-Ferrand but of the whole region of Auvergne. Over 11years 1,500 concerts have entertained more than 1 million people in two halls. The total surface
area of the building that also comprises many offices and so on is 3,000m2. Since
the opening in 2000 the two stages within the venue had 1,500 concerts with more
than 1 million spectators.
La grande sale has room for 800 seated or 1,500 standing people, 16 of
which are reserved for disabled persons. The total surface area is 740m2 and has
a modular stage of up to 210m2. The staircase construction ensures that everyone
can find a spot with an excellent view of the stage. The smaller stage La petite
Coop holds 450 people.

The staircase design of the hall ensures that everyone can find a spot with perfect views.

La Cooprative de Mai

193

ST2

SE
SOURCE

1
2

10

ST1

20

30

METERS

194

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH
Surface area of stage

9,000m3
401913.4m
210m2

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

1.09
0.93
4.43
1.8
1.27
0.88
0.77
0.92
1.13

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete with antislip treatment.
Ceiling: Suspended mineral wool.
Walls: 2-cm thick perforated panels with cavity behind. Panels in rear of the room
not perforated.

Stage Area
Floor: Light stage podiums.
Ceiling: Suspended mineral wool.
Walls: Thin perforated metal plates with mineral wool behind direct on concrete.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; light rigging equipment on stage floor.

State of Hall When Measured

195

T30 in audience area

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

196

EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

Le Chabada

197

Le Chabada
Angers
Number of concerts per year: 40. In both halls in the venue: 70
Founded: 1994
Capacity: 900
Architect: Architectes Ingenieurs Associes
Acoustician: Acoustique Pierre Poubeau
Le Chabada is a concert hall for popular music in Angers, Pays de la Loire,
France. Since its creation in 1994, the venue has settled into an eclectic range of
music genres including rap, electronic music, rock, world music, pop, reggae, and
so on.
At the end of the 1980s, Angers was home to many musicians, associations,
and concert promoters. Back then, the city had the reputation to be the French
cradle of hardcore, popcore, grunge, and punk rock. With 63 bands and artists,
Angers counted more music creators than any other French city with its most
important ambassadors Les Thugs, Dirty Hands, Spcimen, and LoJo Triban.
In 1988 the organization, Association for the Development of Rock and Related
Genres in Angers (ADRAMA) was created, uniting all rock-associations with
the intention to start negotiating with the city council to create infrastructure for
popular music.
In 1990, ADRAMA obtained the opening of 10 practice rooms for local bands
and artists. Petitions and campaigns went on and finally the city council of Angers
gave the go-ahead for the creation of a venue dedicated to contemporary music.
Like other French cities, Angers had the benefit of the cultural dynamism of these
years when Jack Lang was minister for education.
The venue opening was in September, 1994. Housed in the converted former
slaughterhouse of Angers, Le Chabada covers over 1,500m2 and two floors. The
two concert halls occupy the ground floor of the building. The main hall called
Grande Salle has a capacity of 900 people including 150 fixed seats. The smaller
concert hall called Le club has a capacity of 300 people and hosts less wellknown, upcoming acts.
The city of Angers is owner of Le Chabada and delegates its administration to
the nonprofit organization ADRAMA-Chabada.
Each year Le Chabada hosts about 70 concerts of various styles. Noted acts that
have played at Le Chabada are: Vanessa Paradis, John Spencer Blues Explosion,
Ghinzu, Soulfly, Les Thugs, Fugazi, Buzzcocks, The Ex, The Libertines, L7,
Machine Head, dEUS, The Divine Comedy, Frank Black, Roots Manuva, Maceo
Parker, Fred Wesley, The Herbaliser.Tindersticks, Noir Desir, The Kills, Femi
Kuti, Seun Kuti, Nada Surf, Asian Dub Foundation, Toots and the Maytals,
Tarwater, Les Nits, Bauchklang, Sofa Surfers, The Bellrays, Turin Brakes, Giant
Train, Gus Gus, The Ex, Rory Gallagher, The Young Gods, Transglobal LKJ,
The Descendents, Machine Head, L7, Buck 65, Frank Black, Sharon Jones and

198

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

The Dap Kings, Vive la Fte, Roots Manuva, Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, Saul
Williams, WhoMadeWho, Gojira, John Butler Trio, The Young Good Brass Band,
Scott H Biram, Archie Bronson Outfit, and Liars, among others.

Minutes before the French pop act Cocoon enters the stage. Photo Jordane
Chaillou.

The hall holds 900 audiences; here approximately 150 seated. Photo Jordane
Chaillou.

Le Chabada

199

ST1

3
SE

SOURCE

2
4

ST2

10

20

30

METERS

200

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH
Surface area of stage

2,800m3
2713.57.5m
270m2

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

0.94
0.86
3.49
1.54
1.21
0.47
0.85
3.49
2.04

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Suspended mineral wool.
Walls: Wooden panels mounted in a zig-zag configuration. Every second panel is
perforated.

Stage Area
Floor: Wood on cavity on concrete.
Ceiling: Suspended mineral wool.
Walls: Wood wool panels direct on concrete.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; four smaller curtains on stage.

State of Hall When Measured

201

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

202

EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

Cirkus

203

Cirkus
Stockholm
Number of concerts per year: 6080
Total amount of events including concerts and musicals: 250275
Built: 1892, refurbished in 1990 and 1997
Capacity: up to 1,800
Architect: Ernst Hgglund
The more than 115-years-old, Cirkus is situated at The Royal Djurgrden, close
to the very center of Stockholm and yet in a location with a feeling of being in
the countryside. The exterior as well as the interior has been fully refurbished in
the original design as the building has been declared a historical monument. The
building has a very special charm enabling it to embrace very different events
although the venue has become most known for housing the great musicals of former ABBA members Benny Andersson och Bjrn Ulvaeus. The musical Chess
entertained over a half million people here in 20022003 and Mamma Mia was
seen by more than 800,000 people in the years 20052007.
There is room in the arena for 1,800 persons, with 1,644 seats giving a feel of
intimacy and closeness due to the round shape and the warm colors, brick red and
forest green.
The stage is large: 27m deep and 14m wide. The arena is very easy to change.
The seating stalls are vertically adjustable, the whole floor or just some sections.
The floor can be sloping or flat and the chairs can be removed. The floor can also
be changed to different platforms with help of hydraulics and show the entertainment on different levels. The Cirkus restaurant has a feeling of a Wienercaf. The
kitchen has a big capacity, quantity and quality; a buffet can be arranged for a full
arena.

204

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

From the stage performers enjoy a sensation of direct contact with even the
most remote members of the audience.

The combination of a traditional nineteenth-century seating space with completely up-to-date stage facilities makes Cirkus a sought after venue especially for
musicals.

Cirkus

205

ST2

ST1

7
2

1
SE

10

20

30

METERS

206

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH
Surface area of stage

10, 000m3+stage volume


3636713
375m2

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

1.27
1.18
3.32
1.29
1.11
0.88
0.81
1.23
0.67

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Hydraulic seating platforms. Stationary platforms constructed of plates on
cavity. Upholstered chairs.
Ceiling: Probably plaster on lightweight construction on very large cavity.
Walls: Wood on cavity; gypsum board on cavity, gypsum board on brick.

State of Hall When Measured


All additional seats mounted. Shown in photos.

State of Hall When Measured

207

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

208

EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

Le Confort Moderne

209

Le Confort Moderne
Poitiers
Number of concerts per year: 60
Founded: 1985
Capacity: 700
Architect: N/A
Acoustician: N/A
In 1979 the Poitiers-based organization Lil coute was renamed lOreille
est Hardie and arranged 200 concerts up until 1984 all over Poitiers: auditorium
Sainte Croix, Amphi Descartes, Thtre de Poitiers (with, for instance, Glenn
Branca, The Residents), Place dArmes (first-ever concert with Sonic Youth in
Europe).
In 1985 a building to house the concerts was found. Francis Falceto, Fazette
Bordage, Yorrick Benoist, and Philippe Auvin were responsible for bringing the
project forward by renting the old factory building Confort 2000 for creative purposes. In 1988 the city of Poitiers bought the building and made way together with
lOreille est Hardie for the venue as it stands today.

High Tone at Confort Moderne, photo: Yvain Michaud.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

210

Confort Moderne in Poitiers has brought many cult punk acts to France.

ST2

SE

S
ST1

2
1

METERS

Materials Used

211

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH

1,400m3
25124.8m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

0.72
0.67
6.63
1.99
1.8
0.29
0.91
1.64
1.71

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Perforated thin plate on cavity.
Walls: Zig-Zag walls of concrete with unsmooth surface. 10-cm thick porous baffles hanging down alongside the upper part of walls at a distance. Rear wall: plate
on cavity.

Stage Area
Floor: Vinyl on wood direct on concrete.
Ceiling: Perforated thin plate on cavity.
Walls: Curtain 1 m from back and side walls.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; no additional seats mounted.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

212

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

State of Hall When Measured

213

EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

214

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Debaser Medis
Stockholm
Number of concerts per year: N/A
Founded: N/A
Capacity: 850 standing+100 seated
Architect: N/A
Acoustician: N/A

Choosing a diffusive instead of absorptive rear wall also at low frequencies is a


possibility if the distance from the stage and PA system is not very big. The diffusers should be constructed to absorb some sound energy in the 125-Hz octave band.
Singers and guitarists especially like to get something in return for their efforts.

Debaser Medis

215

The cavity under the stage seems to be used for a huge Helmholtz resonator
that may absorb some low-frequency sound. A porous absorber may also work
and priority must be given to isolating the stage from the subspeakers often placed
beneath. The open area underneath the stage is too little to create any impact on
the total acoustics of the room.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

216

ST2
S
ST1

SE
1

10

20

30

METERS

Materials Used

217

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH
Surface area of stage

2,400m3
23167.3m
50m2

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

0.73
0.75
4.76
1.44
1.35
0.53
0.82
1.25
1.18

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Vinyl on wood on cavity.
Ceiling: Suspended mineral wool plus mineral wool baffles.
Walls: Upper part of walls are concrete with 50-mm mineral wool products on
some areas. Lower part is curtains in front of sound-insulating glazing mounted
some 30cm in front of the windows. The rear wall opposite the stage is diffusive
with app 5050cm squares of varying depth.

Stage Area
Floor: Vinyl on wood direct on concrete. Underneath the stage is a custom-built
Helmholz horn absorber.
Ceiling: Suspended mineral wool plus mineral wool baffles.
Walls: No walls at the side of the stage.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; no additional seats mounted.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

218

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

State of Hall When Measured

219

EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

220

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Elyse Montmartre
Paris
Founded: 1989
Capacity: 1,200
Number of concerts per year: Approximately 120
Architect: N/A
Acoustician: N/A
Owner: Garance Productions
Opened in 1807, the lyse Montmartre was a dance hall. There they showcased a new dance style: the quadrille naturaliste (the naturalist quadrille), or
cancan, especially as performed by Valentin le Dsoss and Grille dgout. The
establishment was then composed of three buildings and a large garden. mile
Zola described its faade in his novel (and subsequent drama), LAssommoir.
Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler, having heard of the success of the quadrilles at
the lyse Montmartre and who wished to bring in a new audience, high society,
for this kind of entertainment, engaged a great number of artists from the lyse
Montmartre for the opening in October 1889 of their new establishment, the
Moulin Rouge. Zidler was especially taken with La Goulue, who became one of
the most celebrated cabaret dancers. The lyse Montmartre was also a source of
inspiration for painters and artists of the Butte (Toulouse-Lautrec painted numerous posters there). The hall served as the decor for de Maupassants Masque and
held the 100th performance of mile Zolas LAssommoir in 1879. Costume balls
such as the Bal des QuatzArts (Four Arts Ball) were also held there. Folowing
this, the musical programming of the lyse Montmartre was diversified and
developed.
In the nineteenth century the hall was the site of some of the foremost revolutionary clubs (places where discussions by Utopians and angry young people remade the world). In 1894, the garden was torn up to make room for the
Trianon-Concert. In 1897, the lyse-Montmartre was redone by its new owner: a
separate cafconcert hall. On one side, all the singing, the revues, and other poets
and songwriters, and on the other side, dancing and skating. To make this happen, the architect, douard Niermans, reused the Pavillon de France structure built
by Gustave Eiffel for the Exposition universelle (Worlds Fair) of 1889 [2]. After
a fire in 1900, the hall was remodeled with moderistic decorations and a rococo
decor.
The lyse Montmartre held, at the end of 1949, boxing and wrestling matches,
and then striptease acts. In 1968, Jean-Louis Barrault mounted Rabelais there, a
play based on the music of Michel Polnareff. The setting was in a ring. The following year, Jarry sur la butte was presented with the music of Michel Legrand.
In 1971, Philippe Khorsand put on the play, O Calcutta, which was on the bill
until 1975.

Elyse Montmartre

221

Artists such as Jacques Higelin, Patti Smith, Diane Dufresne, and Alain
Souchon played concerts there starting in 1976, in addition to many heavy metal
groups. In 1983, there was an operetta by Francis Lopez with Georges Gutary.
In 1989, the hall began a new era with the new owners, Garance Productions.
They presented rock and reggae concerts, among others. Since 1995, the program
has consisted of 15days of Le Bal de llyse-Montmartre enlivened by the GOLEM
(Grand Orchestre de Llyse Montmartre), thus returning the hall to its first calling.

Beautiful nineteenth-century stucco is apparent in the ceiling.

Numerous delay speakers may lead to a near-field listening experience lacking


envelopment and liveliness. But on the other hand, the total sound power in the
hall is a sum of the contribution from each loudspeaker.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

222

ST2

ST1
S

SE

10

20

30

METERS

Materials Used

223

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH

6,000m3
37234.49.6

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Wood on joists.
Ceiling: Masonry, stucco.
Walls: Masonry, 30% covered with drapes. Some pillars covered with drapes.

Stage Area
Floor: Wood on joists.
Ceiling: Masonry.
Walls: Backdrop, bare concrete walls on side at the time of the measurement.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; lots of lighting equipment on stage.

0.97
0.91
4.02
1.13
1.34
0.37
0.89
2.52
1.84

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

224

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

State of Hall When Measured

225

EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

226

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Festhalle
Frankfurt
Number of nonclassical music concerts per year: N/A
Founded: 1909
Capacity: 13,500 without chairs
Architect: Friedrich von Thiersch
Acoustician: N/A
Owner: Stadt Frankfurt (40%)/Land Hessen (60%)
On May 19th 2009, it was exactly 100years since Frankfurts Festhalle welcomed its very first guests. From rock concerts, operas, sporting events, and circus
performances to international conventions, trade fairs, AGMs, and gala balls, the
Festhalle is versatility itself, housing all kinds of events with practiced ease.
With the opening of the Festhalle a hundred years ago, the city of Frankfurt
finally boasted a suitable venue for hosting large-scale exhibitions and events,
signaling an end to expensive makeshift solutions. At the same time, it marked the
beginning of a long tradition of outstanding events of all kinds.
When Kaiser Wilhelm II made it known in Summer 1905 that he would be willing to have the traditional singing contest transferred permanently to Frankfurt as
well as having the Eleventh German Gymnastics Festival held there three years
later, the municipal authorities lost no time in taking action. At a meeting of town
councillors, funds were allocated for a general architectural competition. The
invitation to tender was issued in April 1906 and was won just one year later by
Friedrich von Thiersch, who designed a 6,000m2, daylight-flooded hall, suitable
for playing host to all manner of exhibitions, musical performances, and other
events.
Construction work began on June 11th, 1907 and was supervised directly by
the Frankfurt City Council. Responsibility for marketing and operating the hall
was given to Ausstellungs- und Festhallen-Gesellschaft, known today as Messe
Frankfurt. Exactly 13months later, the still-unplastered Festhalle hosted the opening ceremony for the Eleventh International German Gymnastics Festival. When
the gymnasts had returned home, the construction was completed and officially
opened on schedule.
Even at the ripe old age of 100, the grand old lady of event halls is still going
strong. After all, nothing is too outlandish or too extravagant for the Festhalle.
From rock concerts, operas, sporting events and circus performances to international conventions, trade fairs, AGMs and gala balls, the Festhalle is versatality
itself, housing all kinds of events with practised ease.
Uwe Behm, a member of the Messe Frankfurt Board of Management, sums up
the unique role of the Festhalle: As the historical core of our exhibition grounds, it
is an integral part of the companys success story. We are delighted to be able to use
the Festhalle for all kinds of events. The building combines event expertise, glamour and historical ambiencewhich is what gives it its own special atmosphere.

Festhalle

227

Visually, certainly the most spectacular of all visited venues. Ones senses are
sharpened.

Hard surfaces ensured the unamplified sound of the early twentieth century to
be carried over the vast distances inside the hall.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

228

5
6
7

ST1

SOURCE ST3

ST2

10

20

30

40

50

60 METERS

Materials Used

229

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH(max)

110,000m3
1096429m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Masonry. Glazing in dome.
Walls: Masonry on concrete.

Stage Area
No stage.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; no additional seats mounted.

4.15
4.28
4.06
0.74
0.91
2.97
0.44
0.6
0.74

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

230

Festhalle.
T30 in audience area
8

T30 [s]

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

2k

4k

State of Hall When Measured

231

EDT in audience area


8

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT on stage
8

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

232

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

Forest National

233

Forest National
Bruxelles
Number of concerts per year: 100
Founded: 1970
Capacity: 10,000
Architect: NA
Acoustician: NA
Owner: Music Hall Group
Since 1970 Forest National has been a venue for major public events such as concerts, musicals, and sports events. The venue was first opened as Palais des sports,
and then commuted into a concert venue. This resulted in a phenomenal list of artists
and shows over the years and has put Brussels on the schedule of every international
tour manager. The venue has hosted about 3,500 shows attended by over 15 million
fans. Yearly, over 500,000 people attend an event in the hall. Forest National is the
biggest concert venue in Brussels. Music Hall Group bought the venue in 1995 and
renovated it: VIP lounges and VIP boxes were added, and the capacity rated up to
10,000 places. With Maurice Bjarts Ballets, the venues grand opening celebration,
the tone was set for quality from the first day onwards and has made it one of the
most beloved arenas of the public, the promoters, and the artists.
An impressive list of names of artists and bands of all the styles that contemporary music has to offer have performed on the mythical stage of Forest National.
Rocknroll legends the Rolling Stones, Queen, or U2; jazz icons Ella Fitzgerald,
Count Basie, or Benny Goodman; pop divas Janet Jackson, Diana Ross, or Kylie
Minogue; reggae king Bob Marley and the Wailers; French chanson ambassadors
Michel Sardou or Johnny Hallyday; New Wavers The Cure, Indochine, or Siouxie
and the Banshees; Latin extravaganza Santana, Gloria Estefan, or Enrique Iglesias;
hard rock myths Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, or Metallica; todays hit wonders
Katy Perry, The National, Editors, Tokio Hotel, Nelly Furtado, or 50 Cent, and last
but not least Belgiums finest artists dEUS, Hooverphonic, Ozark Henry, or Axelle
Red, they all had their moment of glory, their standing ovation in Forest National.
In addition to the glitter and the glamour, the venue has also been the home of
spectacular operas such as Ada, Nabucco, and Carmen and moving musicals such
as Notre Dame de Paris, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Mamma Mia!.
Other events could be hosted thanks to the magnificent round architecture of
the arena. Basketball exhibitions by the Harlem Globe Trotters, equestrian shows
of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, wrestling matches, tennis tournaments,
gymnastic championships, and ice-skating family happenings like Disney On Ice
were a delight for children and adults.
In 2009 Dries Sel was appointed as new CEO with the mission of turning the
mythical rock temple into a venue with a legendary future. Forest National started a
diversification of its offer, welcoming genres as different as rock, R&B, rap, chanson
franaise, family shows, circus, and so on. A first edition of KDO!, a show created
by Franco Dragone (Cirque du Soleils former artistic director) especially for Forest
National, sold over 60,000 tickets in the winter of 20092010.

234

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

At the same time the new management team started a series of actions in order
to reduce any possible negative impact of the venue on its direct neighborhood and
the environment, addressing mobility and parking issues, sound emissions, energy
consumption, and so on. The purpose was to create within a few years a brand new
Forest National, ensuring its visitors an exceptional experience from ticket buying
to the long-time strength of the venue, fabulous shows and concerts, to going home.

If walls could speak Since 1970 most great rock stars have passed through
this hall.

Large hallways of concrete behind the seats add reverb to the reverberant space.

Forest National

235

ST2
SOURCE
ST1

4
B2

B2

NTS

236

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Geometrical data
Volume
Height
Acoustical data
Audience area
Tempty
Tfull
D50
EDT
BRrock
Stage area
Tempty
D50
EDT
BRrock

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Thin nonperforated trapezoid steel.
Walls: Concrete.
Seats: Upholstered on back and seat.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; some seats installed on floor. Backdrop.

App. 150,000m3
20.5m

State of Hall When Measured

237

T30 in audience area


8

T30 [s]

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

EDT in audience area


8

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

238

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Globen
Stockholm
Number of concerts per year: 50
Founded: 1989
Capacity: 16,000
Architect: Berg Arkitektkontor AB
Acoustician: Tunemalm Akustik AB, Svante Berg, Esbjrn Adamson, and Lasse
Vretblad
The construction work of this colossal hall began in 1986 and ended 2 years
later in 1989. It is the biggest spherical building in the world and has become a
symbol for Stockholm and Sweden. The building has a horizontal diameter of
110m, an inside height of 85m, and has a volume of 600,000m3.

With a volume of 600,000 m3 the Globe Arena is the largest of all halls in this
book.

Globen

Curtains can be drawn in front of the windows in order to avoid echoes.

239

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

240

4
ST2

6
8

SOURC

1
ST1
7
5

10

20

30

40

50

60

METERS

Materials Used

241

Geometrical data
Volume
Height, audience area
Outer horizontal diameter (max)

600,000m3
85m
110m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

3.71
3.22
0.27
1.89
1.67

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Mineral wool product.
Seats: Upholstered on seat and back. Reflective when not in use.

Stage Area: NA
State of Hall When Measured
Empty; no additional seats mounted. One fourth of lower seats covered with curtain.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

242

T30 in audience area


8

T30 [s]

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

EDT in audience area


8

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

Grosse Freiheit

243

Grosse Freiheit
Hamburg
Number of concerts per year: 75
Founded: 1985. Building constructed in 1958
Capacity: 1,250
Architect: Erwin Nagel
Acoustician: N/A
Upstairs from Kaiser Keller where the Beatles played for several months before
breaking internationally is the much larger Grosse Freiheit. Considering its size, amazing artists have played here during the past decades, including Johnny Winter and
Band, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Sly Dunnbar, Robby Shakespeare, The The, The Ramones,
Die rzte, Public Enemy, INXS, Cruzados, Meat Loaf, Wet Wet Wet, Faith No More,
Manu Dibango, Crowded House, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Sugarcubes, Living
Colour, R.E.M., Underworld, John Cale, Texas, Neil Young, George Clinton, Deep
Purple, Youssou NDour, Leningrad Cowboys, Jonathan Butler, Chris Isaak, Robert
Palmer, Maceo Parker, The Jets, Seal, Tower Of Power, Fehlfarben, Curtis Stigers,
Pearl Jam, Mothers Finest, Blur, Stereo Mcs, Duran Duran, Einstrzende Neubauten,
Ace of Base, Michael McDonald, Bjrk, Sheryl Crow, Brand New Heavies, Nina
Hagen, Huey Lewis, Pantera, Cranberries, Bob Geldof, Jamiroquai, Portishead, Mike
and The Mechanics, Joan Armatrading, Suzanne Vega, Kid Kreole and The Coconuts,
Robben Ford, Marcus Miller, Crash test Dummies, Rammstein, Bon Jovi, Miriam
Makeba, Kool and The Gang, Daft Punk, The Corrs, Willie Nelson, Nena, Runrig,
Saga, Macy Gray, Lou Reed, Muse, DAngelo, dEUS, Arctic Monkeys, Travis,
Heather Nova, Amy Mc Donald, and Sterephonics.

This is the kind of venue that was probably built unintentionally of fairly suitable materials for rock concerts.

244

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

With a height of less than 6m there is enough room for a balcony level. And
with a carefully adjusted PA system the midhigh frequency reverberation can
possibly be tamed by the presence of a packed audience without any (other)
porous absorbers in the room.

Grosse Freiheit

245

10

20

30

METERS

246

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH

4,200m3
31.524.56

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

1.48
1.52
1.75
0.86
0.75
0.99
0.56
0.64
0.97

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete; approximately 15% is covered by wooden audience risers (in the
back of the room).
Ceiling: Thin plate with cavity behind.
Walls: Side walls are concrete, rear wall is plate on cavity.

Stage Area
Floor: Vinyl on wood on cavity on concrete.
Ceiling: Thin plate with cavity behind.
Walls: Curtains.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; a couple of flight cases and a DJ set-up on stage.

State of Hall When Measured

247

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

248

EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

2k

4k

1k

2k

4k

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

Hallenstadion

249

Hallenstadion
Zrich
Number of concerts per year: 70
Founded: 1939; rebuilt: 2005
Capacity: 13,000
Architect: Karl Egender and Wilhelm Mller
Acousticians of rebuild: Kopitsis Bauphysik AG, Wichser Akustik and Bauphysik AG
Owner: AG Hallenstadion
Bis zu 13,000 Besucher haben Platz in der Hallenstadion ARENA. Von der
Eisflche ber die Konzertbhne, den Tenniscourt oder den Pferdeparcours bis
zum steinig-erdigen Untergrund, auf dem sich Monster Trucks bewegen, bietet die
ARENA eine enorme Bandbreite an Mglichkeiten. Auch fr Corporate Events
ist sie eine beeindruckende Kulisse und ideal nutzbar fr Generalversammlungen,
Kongresse oder Ausstellungen.
Mit dem FORUM und dem CLUB bietet das Hallenstadion zudem zwei
Layouts, die speziell fr Kongresse und Business Events von 600 bis 3,000
Personen beziehungsweise Konzerte fr bis zu 4,500 Zuschauer konzipiert sind.
Das Raumkonzept basiert auf einem standardisierten Layout, das dank diverser
Vorinstallationen und der flexiblen Funktionalitt sehr schnelle Umbauten und
damit kostengnstigere Produktionen ermglicht.

Hallen Stadion is an up-to-date modern facility with carefully designed


acoustics.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

250

The hall also works well acoustically for sports games. All time tennis great
Roger Federer was to play a couple of days after this measurement took place.

5
2

6
3

SOURCE

10

20

30

40

50

60 METERS

Materials Used

251

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH(max)

120,000m3
11510025m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

2.48
2.07
0.58
1.46
1.1

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete
Ceiling: Two layers of 50-mm mineral wool slabs with a 100-mm air space in
between.
Walls: Porous absorbers and perforated thick plates. Curtains.
Seats: Upholstered also underneath.

Stage Area
No stage measurement.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; no additional seats mounted on floor area.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

252

T30 in audience area


4

T30 [s]

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


4

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

HMV Hammersmith Apollo

253

HMV Hammersmith Apollo


London
Number of concerts per year: 120
Founded: 1932
Capacity: 5,039
Architect: Robert Cromie
Acoustician: N/A
HMV Hammersmith Apollo is one of Londons major live entertainment venues. It is located in Hammersmith, West London and is one of the UKs largest
and best-preserved original theatres. It opened on the 28th of March, 1932 as
the Gaumont Palace cinema, designed in the Art Deco style by renowned theatre architect Robert Cromie, who also designed the Prince of Wales Theatre in
Central London. It was designed on behalf of a joint collaboration between exhibitor Israel Davis and the Gaumont British Theatres chain. It had 3,487 seats and
the opening program was Tom Walls, A Night Like This, and Helen Twelvetrees in
Bad Company. It had a large 35-foot deep stage, an excellent fan-shaped auditorium (which, despite its enormous 192 foot width allows remarkable intimacy and
excellent sightlines from all parts of the house), 20 dressing rooms, a Compton
Manual/15 Ranks theatre organ, and a caf/restaurant located on the balcony/foyer
area.
HMV Hammersmith Apollo was renamed the Hammersmith Odeon in 1962
and started playing host to many legendary acts of the day, including the Beatles,
the Rolling Stones, and Bob Marley. It screened its last regular film in 1984, Blue
Thunder. Following a sponsorship deal, it was later refurbished and renamed the
Labatts Apollo. During his 1992 sold-out tour, Michael Ball, the musical theater
star, best known for his roles in Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, and
Hairspray, was the last person to play the venue when it was named Odeon and
the first person to play after it was renamed Apollo. The venue continued to host
long-running shows and musicals such as Riverdance and Dr Doolittle.
In the early 1990s it reverted back to the Hammersmith Apollo. In 1990, it
was designated a Grade II listed building by English Heritage and was upgraded
to Grade II* status in 2005. 2003 saw the venue renamed as the Carling Apollo
Hammersmith, after another brewery entered into a sponsorship deal with the
then-owners, Clear Channel Entertainment, a US-based company (which then
spun off as Live Nation UK). Major alterations enabled the stalls to be removable, allowing for both standing and fully seated events. Capacity became 5,039
(standing) and 3,632 (sitting). In 2006, the venue reverted to its former name, the
Hammersmith Apollo. The owners were encouraged by Hammersmith & Fulham
Council and the Cinema Theatre Association to reinstate the original Compton
organ console which had been removed from the building and put into storage in
the 1990s. The organ chambers were retained in the building and with its console
connected up again, the huge Apollo auditorium is now filled with its sound after
25years of silence.

254

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

The venue changed hands once again in June 2007 when it was bought by
MAMA Group, a UK-based entertainment company who own a number of music
venues and festivals artist management companies and other music-related businesses such as the UKs most widely circulated music magazine, The Fly. In
2009, it was announced that MAMA Group had entered into a joint venture with
HMV to jointly run 11 live music venues across the United Kingdom, including
the Hammersmith Apollo, the Kentish Town Forum, the Jazz Cafe, and London
Garage. Hence, the venue is now known as the HMV Hammersmith Apollo.
A glance at the list of bands having played the venue is almost a lesson in
European pop and rock history. In the early 1960s, many of the top American
stars performed at the Odeon, including Tony Bennett, with Count Basie, Ella
Fitzgerald with Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Woody Herman and the
Herd. However, in late 1964 and early 1965, the Beatles played 38 shows over
21 nights. Special guests on the bill included the original Yardbirds, featuring Eric
Clapton. In 1966, Johnny Cash performed at the venue. In the 1970s stars and
bands including Bowie, Slade, Bruce Springsteen, Kiss, Thin Lizzy, Sweet, Rush,
and Frank Zappa played there. In December 1979, Queen played several further
concerts. The Hammersmith Odeon hosted the four-night Concerts for the People
of Kampuchea, a benefit concert to raise money for Cambodian residents, who
were victims of the tyrannical reign of dictator Pol Pot, of which Queen played the
first night.
In the 1980s Blondie, Heroes, Cher, Van Halen, and Osbourne headlined, and
in 1981, Motrheads live album, No Sleep til Hammersmith, brought the Odeon
to the international stage, becoming widely recognized. Duran Duran and Depeche
Mode then both recorded live albums entitled after the Hammersmith. Iron Maiden
and AC/DC played four consecutive nights. Elton John, Phil Collins, Boy George,
and U2 performed three shows there in 1983 on their War Tour. David Gilmore.
On February 67, 1984, Soft Cell played their last two shows. On June 1st, 1984,
Venom accidentally burned Hammersmiths ceiling during a performance, which
event can be clearly seen in the 7 Dates of Hell concert video (during Countess
Bathory). As a result, Venom was banned from the Hammersmith Apollo for
a year. In 1986 A-Ha played six consecutive shows there. On June 9th, 1988,
Dire Straits (and Eric Clapton on rhythm guitar) performed a second warm-up
show at Hammersmith leading up to the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute
to be held on 11 June 11th, 1988 at Wembley Stadium, London. On October
911, 1988, Metallica returned to perform, on three consecutive nights, during their Damaged Justice Tour. During the 1990s the hall hosted a number of
stage productions but bands such as Pantera and Megadeath found their way to
the concert venue. In recent years, performers have included Prince, Oasis, REM,
Stereophonics, Kylie, Elton John, Peter Kay, and Paul Weller to name but a few.

HMV Hammersmith Apollo

255

This hall is lively and performers enjoy good contact visually as well as acoustically with the audience.

There is no porous absorption apart from the upholstered seats.

256

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

The fan-shaped hall, in this case very pronounced, seems to work well for
amplified music. Mid- to high-frequency sound is beautifully diffused giving an
airy and lively atmosphere.

HMV Hammersmith Apollo

257

ST2
SOURCE

ST1

B5
UB1
B6
UB SE
B4

10

20

30

METERS

258

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Geometrical data
Volume
Height, audience area
LWH

Approximately 20,000m3
14.4m
582614.4

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

2.35
2.12
0.65
0.98
1.03
2.09
0.6
1.11
0.96

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Hard plate on concrete.
Ceiling: Under balcony: painted plaster on masonry. Above balcony, rear: porous
masonry; in front: painted ornamented plaster or wood direct on painted masonry.
Walls: painted, ornamented masonry.

Stage Area
Floor: Vinyl on wood direct on concrete.
Ceiling: Masonry.
Walls: Masonry.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; no seats mounted on lower floor. All seats mounted on balcony.

State of Hall When Measured

259

T30 in audience area


4

T30 [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


4

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

260

EDT on stage
4

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

Heineken Music Hall

261

Heineken Music Hall


Amsterdam
Number of concerts per year: 50100
Founded: 2001
Capacity: 5,500
Architect: Frits van Dongen, De Architecten Cie
Acoustician: Rob Metkemeijer, Peutz Acoustics
The founders of the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam (NL) had one clear
vision: to create a modern multifunctional venue for the main purpose of highquality (pop) concerts for up to 5,500 visitors. The venue opened its doors in
2001 and is to this day (according to the venue) still the only Dutch multifunctional venue that has been designed both logistically and acoustically for amplified
music events.
Erica Bakker of the Heineken Music Hall explains, the starting point was a simple audience surface with balconies, the so-called Black Box which is the larger of
two stages in the facility. At the time, many venues seemed to cope with the same
problem: lack of sound absorption under 200Hz. Sound echoes from front to back
when not absorbed; this was the one thing that the Heineken Music Hall wanted to
prevent. Not only are frequencies transported loud and clear throughout the entire
main hall, but the quality of the low frequencies sounds is also higher and more
defined. The venue is built according the box in box principle; hardly any of the
walls touch the outer walls. After concerts people can stay and dance some more
in the Beat Box hall located on the first floor of the venue.
With an average of 137 events a year (both concerts and corporate events)
and multiple nominations for the Pollstar Award, the venue remains a muchloved location for music lovers. With performers including Joe Cocker, John
Mayer, Simply Red, Pink, Lady Gaga, Lionel Richie, Coldplay, Van Morrison,
Elvis Costello, Status Quo, and others, the Heineken Music Hall has become a
reknowned location within its own league.
Bakker continues:
On a show date, the very first thing a crew can expect in this venue is a warm
welcome; a nice cup of coffee and a hot shower. The local crew are always willing
to help the production where and when they can. But do keep in mind that they
want their venue to be treated the same way they treat their guests; with the utmost
respect. One band decided to take being rock n roll to the extreme and trashed
up the entire dressing room. It goes without saying that the venue wasnt happy
about this and in their turn decided to let the band clean up their own mess. And
they did Obviously under slight protest, because after all, that is the true nature
of rock n roll !

262

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

The Heineken Music Hall is extreme acoustical engineering in a very delicate


architectural design. With a volume of 50,000m3 a reverberation time of merely
1s is indeed an extraordinary achievement.

All wall surfaces are perforated metal plates in front of porous absorption and
membranes. Except for the reflective (when not in use) seats and the floor the
Heineken Music Hall can be regarded as an anechoic chamber with two bars.
Acousticians paradise.

Heineken Music Hall

263

B5

UB4 6

SE

2
3
S

10

20

30 METERS

264

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Geometrical data
Volume
Height, audience area
LWH

50,000m3
20m
604320

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

1.17
1.11
3.15
1.89
0.95

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete with a polyurethane coating.
Ceiling: 10-cm mineral wool and 20-cm cavity.
Walls: 30-cm layer of absorption material, consisting from 10-cm mineral wool,
layers of foil and 20cm of air.

Stage Area
As audience area.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; seats mounted in the rear on floor and balcony.

State of Hall When Measured

265

T30 in audience area


4

T30 [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


4

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

266

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle
Stuttgart
Number of concerts per year: 65
Founded: 1983
Capacity: 15,500
Architect: ASP Architekten
Acoustician: NA
The arena is part of a sport complex that includes the adjacent Mercedes-Benz
Arena and Porsche Arena. Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle is an indoor sporting arena
located in Stuttgart, Germany. The capacity of the arena is 15,500 people. The hall
was built in 1983 and is named for Hanns Martin Schleyer, a German employer representative, killed by the terrorist Red Army Faction. It has a 265-m (869-ft) track
made of wood. The arena hosted the final phase of the 1985 European basketball
championship [1]. It also hosted the Stuttgart Masters when it was a ATP Super 9
event between 1996 and 2001. The arena is also used as a velodrome and was used
as the host for the 2003 UCI Track Cycling World Championships.
NeckarPark Stuttgart is one of the biggest and most attractive event sites in
Europe. Five state-of-the-art event locations for top international sport, cultural, business, and political events line the Mercedesstrasse in the district of Bad Cannstatt:
the Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadium, the Carl Benz Center, the Mercedes Benz Museum,
and the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle and Porsche-Arena hall duo. Extensively modernized and enlarged in 2006, the 15,500 capacity Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle is
the largest indoor arena in south Germany. When officially opened in 1983 it was
Europes first multifunctional hall and together with the Porsche-Arena, which
opened in May 2006, it forms a unique hall duo in the whole of Europe.
Take a closer look and immerse yourself in a hall complex that is unique and
doubly good. A light-flooded and airy lobby unites both halls. The elongated
Porsche-Arena is elegantly connected to the glass construction through which people stream into both halls. Flexibility is the key and this is also mirrored in the
diversity of the events. From superstars on the national and international music
scene to sports events and big show productions, the program of events is as starstudded as it is emotional. More than 14 million visitors to the Hanns-MartinSchleyer-Halle are clear proof of its attractiveness.
The diversity of events can be enjoyed as a double pack in the Hanns-MartinSchleyer-Halle and the Porsche-Arena whereby the prerequisite is a perfect and
professional organizational structure. Working behind the scenes, it ensures major
performances go off smoothly. This applies to a special degree to company presentations, congresses, annual general meetings, and party conferences. An outstanding example is the Porsche Annual General Meeting, which, combined with a big
presentation in the Schleyer-Halle, celebrated its premiere in the Porsche-Arena.
The hall duo functions in a variety of ways. With a spotlight on for a concert in
the Schleyer-Halle, at the same time a first-class handball or ice-hockey match is
being played in the Porsche-Arena.

Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle

Schleyer Halle.

267

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

268

6
3

SOURCE

ST1

ST2

10

20

30

40

50

60

METERS

Materials Used

269

Geometrical data
Volume
Height, audience area

Approximately 200,000m3
12m clear height, upper beam 18m

Acoustical data
Audience area
Tempty
Tfull
D50
EDT
BRrock
Stage area
Tempty
D50
EDT
BRrock

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Wood.
Ceiling: Thin trapezoid metal without perforation.
Walls: Concrete thin metal with and without perforation/concrete.
Seats upholstered on seat not on back and perforated underneath seats (see photo).

State of Hall When Measured


Empty: some additional seats mounted, curtains behind stage area and at the rear
of the hall but these were only elevated 1m from the floor.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

270

T30 in audience area


4

T30 [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


4

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

Jyske Bank BOXEN

271

Jyske Bank BOXEN


Herning
Number of concerts per year: N/A
Founded: 2010
Capacity: 15,000
Architect: rstiderne Arkitekter
Acoustician: Eddy Bgh Brixen
Jyske Bank BOXEN is Denmarks first multipurpose arena with seating for
1215,000 people. The multipurpose arena has been specially designed to host a
wide range of events and houses numerous service and VIP facilities. Jyske Bank
BOXEN is therefore able to stage both national and international events such as
sporting fixtures, concerts, shows, and other entertainment. Jyske Bank BOXEN
was conceived by the Danish company MCH in close dialogue with sporting associations, concert organizers, business partners, and experts to ensure a state-of-theart and future-proof venue that lives up to international standards. MCH owns and
runs the multipurpose arena.
The first event in Jyske Bank BOXEN took place on October 20th, 2010 when
the American pop phenomenon Lady Gaga performed at the venue, which is also
known as Denmarks national arena. Just two days later, Prince visited Jyske Bank
BOXEN, and since then Linkin Park and Elton John with Ray Cooper have staged
shows there. In December 2010, Jyske Bank BOXEN served as the venue for the
European Womens Handball Championships, where the tournaments only intermediate round and the finals were held in Herning.
The string of international concerts, shows, and sporting events continued in
2011. For example, the world premire of Kylie Minogues Aphrodite Tour was
scheduled to take place at the arena, in addition to the Queen musical We Will Rock
You, a concert by teen idol Justin Bieber, Roger Waters The Wall, and a performance by R&B star Rihanna.
Jyske Bank BOXEN is part of Vision 2025, an ambitious and long-term plan
for the future expansion of MCHs physical facilities. The plan was presented
on November 1st, 2000, and covers infrastructure/motorway projects, the multipurpose arena (Jyske Bank BOXEN), a stadium, a drive-in cinema, MCH Time
World, and an aerial railway.
The first stage of the plan was completed in 2004 with the construction of
Denmarks largest column-free hall and MCH Arena, home ground for the professional Danish football club FC Midtjylland. Since then, the infrastructure around
Herning has been extended and improved, and most recently Jyske Bank BOXEN
has opened. Jyske Bank BOXEN is part of MCH, one of Scandinavias most
flexible experience centers with 15 exhibition halls, a congress center, a football
stadium, and now also a multipurpose arena. MCH organizes trade fairs and exhibitions, concerts, sporting events, conferences, meetings, and parties. It is situated
in Herning (Denmark) a city with approximately 84,000 citizens and a population
of approximately 2.6 million people within a two-hour drive.

272

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

JBB arena has a no-nonsense Nordic interior design with wooden chairs.

Apart from porous absorption in the ceiling, membrane absorbers have been
used on wall areas. This hall is known in Denmark for its good acoustics for
amplified concerts.

Jyske Bank BOXEN

273

ST1

10

20

30

40

50

60

METERS

274

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH(max)

230,000m3
1158030m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

2.81
2.92
1.35
0.98
0.99

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Steel trapezoid profile with perforation on cavity with mineral wool on top.
Walls: Upper wall areas: 100-mm mineral wool on concrete; lower wall areas: single
layer gypsum board on cavity with mineral wool.
Seats are not upholstered.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; no additional seats mounted.

State of Hall When Measured

275

T30 in audience area


4

T30 [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


4

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

276

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Kaiser Keller
Hamburg
Number of concerts per year: 55
Founded: 1959. Building constructed in 1957/58
Capacity: Approximately 400
Architect: Erwin Nagel
Acoustician: NA
The Beatles residency in Hamburg, the German city where John Lennon, Paul
McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe, and Pete Best regularly performed
at a series of four different clubs during the period August 1960 to December
1962, was a chapter in the groups history which honed their performance skills,
widened their reputation, and led to their first recording, which brought them
to the attention of Brian Epstein. The Beatles booking agent, Allan Williams,
decided to send the group to Hamburg when another group he managed, Derry and
the Seniors, proved successful there. Having no permanent drummer at the time,
they recruited Best a few days before their departure.
The Beatles arrived very early in the morning on August 17th, 1960, but
had no trouble finding the St. Pauli area of Hamburg, as it was so well known.
Unfortunately the Indra Club (placed at 58 Grosse Freiheit) was closed, so a manager from a neighboring club found someone to open it up, and the group slept
on the red leather seats in the alcoves. The group first played at the club the same
night, but were told they had to sleep in a small cinemas storeroom, which was
cold and noisy, being directly behind the screen of the cinema, the Bambi Kino.
McCartney later said, We lived backstage in the Bambi Kino, next to the toilets,
and you could always smell them. The room had been an old storeroom, and there
were just concrete walls and nothing else. No heat, no wallpaper, not a lick of
paint; and two sets of bunk beds, with not very much covers Union Jack flagswe
were frozen. Lennon put it, We were put in this pigsty. We were living in a toilet, like right next to the ladies toilet. Wed go to bed late and be woken up next
day by the sound of the cinema show and old German fraus [women] pissing next
door. After having been awakened in this fashion, the group members were then
obliged to use cold water from the urinals for washing and shaving.
Harrison remembered the Reeperbahn and Grosse Freiheit as the best thing
the group had ever seen, as it had so many clubs, neon lights, and restaurants,
although also saying: The whole area was full of transvestites and prostitutes
and gangsters, but I couldnt say that they were the audience. Hamburg was really
like our apprenticeship, learning how to play in front of people. Best remembered the Indra as being a depressing place that was filled with a few tourists, and
having heavy, old, red curtains that made it seem shabby compared to the larger
Kaiserkeller, a club also owned by Koschmider and located nearby at 36 Grosse
Freiheit. After the closure of the Indra because of complaints about the noise, the
Beatles played in the Kaiserkeller starting on October 4th, 1960. [From Wikipedia,
The Beatles in Hamburg]

Kaiser Keller

277

Kaiser Keller is the basement club where the Beatles grew by playing several
sets per day for months. Kaiser Keller is still used today for upcoming bands.

S2
S1

1
2

10

20

30

METERS

278

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Geometrical data
Volume
Height, audience area
Height of stage
LWH

1,200m3
3.1m
0.4m
21.917.83.1

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

0.99
1.04
4.78
0.64
0.6

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Tiles on concrete; approximately 20% is covered by wooden audience risers.
Ceiling: Thin plate with cavity behind.
Walls: Concrete.
Bars made of wood on cavities.

Stage Area
Floor: Wood on cavity.
Ceiling: Thin plate with cavity behind.
Walls: Curtains.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty: chairs and sofas on stage.

State of Hall When Measured

279

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

280

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Live Music Club


Trezzo sullAdda (Milan)
Number of concerts per year:
Founded: 1997/2007
Capacity: 1,500
Architect: Baruffi Valeria/Studio Achea
Acoustician: N/A
The Live Club was founded in 1997 in Trezzo sullAdda as a entertainment
alternative in the province of Milan. The music programming was soon given
exclusive tribute nights with the most important names of the Italian indie scene.
Soon artists on the international scene began to play on the live club stage, and
causing the choice of a new location. The transfer took place in June, 2007. A new
structure was designed and prepared to become one of the best clubs in Italy for
live music, theater, events, and conventions. Inside the new venue the Live Club
Restaurant and offices for the Live Club staff treat every aspect of production of
an event, from the technical to the creative, administrative, promotional. The Live
Club position at the crossroads between the provinces of Milan, Bergamo, and
Lecco makes very easy to reach from the entire Lombardy region.
This is Live Clubs fourth season of live events and DJ sets in its new structure
and has already hosted big national and international artists (Afterhours, Caparezza,
Vibrazioni, Joe Satriani, Buddy Guy, Misfits, Marillion, Saxon, Gotthard and many
more).
For its fourth season too, national and international artists together with classic
tribute bands play on Friday and Saturday nights. The weekly concerts are dedicated to alternative artists on the international music scene events ranging from
good old rock to Italian and international reggae, without forgetting metal, electronic music, and hip hop. Before and after the shows the music/images experiment continues thanks to DJ and VJ performances.
Going beyond traditional expectations, Live Club has also hosted in its brand
new structure dance events (such as the 12th Adda Danza International Modern
Dance Show) and theater events in cooperation with the city of Trezzo sullAdda,
that used Live Clubs stage to organize several initiatives.

Live Music Club

281

Several balcony levels enhance the audience dynamics.

Before sound check: tonights band enjoying brunch on the house while rigging is in process on stage. Large sheets of foam suspended from walls to ceiling
create a somewhat silent atmosphere in the bar.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

282

ST1
S
ST2

SE

10

20

30

METERS

Materials Used

283

Geometrical data
Volume
Height, audience area
Surface area of stage
Height of stage
LWH

8,000m3
8.7m
270m2
1.2m
43238.7

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

1.17
1.15
2.70
0.75
0.96
0.73
0.62
0.66
0.67

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Suspended mineral wool with foam product on top.
Walls: Concrete. Over the bar a large area is covered with approximately 5-cm
thick foam slabs with a large distance to wall.

Stage Area
Floor: Vinyl on wood direct on concrete.
Ceiling: Suspended mineral wool with foam product on top.
Walls: Backdrops on back wall and side walls.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty: lighting rigs on stage.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

284

Live performance at the Live Music Club.


T30 in audience area
2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

State of Hall When Measured

285

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

2k

4k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

Octave band [Hz]


D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

286

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

LKA/Langhorn
Stuttgart
Number of concerts per year: 100120
Founded: 1984
Capacity: 1,500
Architect: N/A
Acoustician: N/A
Er hat hatte sie alle: Nirvana, Sheryl Crow, Nina Hagen, Die rzte, Rammstein,
Guildo Horn, Nickelback, The Black Eyed Peas, Die Schrzenjger, Truck Stop,
Jeanette Biedermann und und und. Im Liveclub LKA in Stuttgart-Wangen gaben
und geben sich die Stars und solche, die es werden wollen, die Klinke in die Hand.
Und das seit mehr als 25 Jahren. Das LKA ist zur Institution der Konzerthallen in
der Landeshauptstadt geworden.
Damit hatte 1984 keiner gerechnet. Thomas Mller, damals Geschftsfhrer der
Diskothek Oz, lebte mit seiner amerikanischen Freundin in den Patch Barracks.
Da bekam er mit, dass die GIs einen Countryclub vermissten. Im Industriegenbiet
von Stuttgart- Wangen wurde er fndig. Die Halle eines insolventen
Unternehmens erschien geeignet. Wo bislang Durchlauferhitzer gelagert waren,
erffneten sie den Countryclub Longhorn. Mitbewerber beim Insolvenzverwalter
damals war brigens Werner Schretzmeier, der fr sein Theaterhaus eine Heimat
suchte. Das Longhorn erhielt den Zuschlagzur Freude der GIs, die schnell
den Club bevlkerten. Aber auch Deutsche zhlten zu den Kunden, die zu den
Klngen des DJs und der Countrybands, die live spielten, tanzten. Das Longhorn
wurde zum grten Countryand Westernclub auerhalb der USA, schrieb die
US-Zeitung Stars and Stripes.
Das erste Rockkonzert sorgte am 14. Dezember 1987 fr ein volles Haus.
Konzertveranstalter Henning Tgel und seine Moderne Welt suchten fr den
Auftritt von Nina Hagen eine preisgnstige Location. Das Longhorn, das 1,500
Zuschauern Platz bietet, zeigte sich bereit, Nina Hagen zu empfangen. Der Club
platzte aus allen Nhten. Es war gnadenlos voll, erinnert sich Thomas Mller.
Die Kellner kamen nicht mehr durch. Die Saat war gelegt, Konzerte das zweite
Standbein im Longhorn. Auf Nina Hagen folgten am 10. Mrz 1988 Bobby
Womack und weitere 40 Bands und Knstler. Innerhalb von neun Tagen gastierten
The Pogues (Die haben sich in der Garderobe geprgelt), The Exploited (Das
suchte der Kassierer mit den Einnahmen das Weite), Linton Kwesi Johnson,
Savoy Brown und Truck Stop.
Eine weitere nderung erfolgte 1993: Die GIs waren abgezogen worden, aus
dem Countryclub wurde nach zwei monatigem Umbau das LKA, LonghornKultur-Austausch, mit Livekonzerten, Rockdisco und Nachwuchsfrderung. Die
Countryutensilien verschwanden, Andy Blattner, der schon Gitarren von Prince
besprayen durfte, zauberte Motive aus der Sixtinischen Kapelle (das finde ich
neutral, spielen bei uns doch Bands unterschiedlicher Stile) an die Wnde. Am 3.

LKA/Langhorn

287

September 1993 erffnete das LKA wieder seine Pforten. Weit mehr als 1,000
Nachwuchsbands bot das LKA seitdem Bhne und Plattform, sich unter professionellen Bedingungen Gehr zu verschaffen.
Weiterhin werden namhafte Bands begrt, die auf dem Weg in die groen
Hallen und Stadien erst einmal das LKA Longhorn bespielten: Die rzte,
Rammstein, Eminem, Nickelback, Korn, The Black Eyed Peas, Sheryl Crow. 1991
spielten Nirvana im Vorprogramm von Sonic Youth. Die Resonanz war eher bescheiden. Kurz darauf erschien Nevermind mit Smells like teen spirit. Der Rest
ist Musikgeschichte.
Das Bemhen um den Nachwuchs und das Engagement blieb nicht ohne
Folgen: 2004 und 2005 wurde das LKA als bester nicht-gefrderter Club ausgezeichnet. 2006 gab es den DASDING-Publikumspreis. Und 2009 erhielt das
LKA den Gaston, Gastro-Award Bester Club in Baden-Wrttemberg 2009.
Aktuell wurde das LKA 2011 mit dem MARS Music Award Region Stuttgart
unter der Rubrik Best Live Location 1000 ausgezeichnet. Keine Frage, das LKA
Longhorn ist Institution unter den Konzerthallen in Stuttgart.

LKA is a legendary club driven by sheer passion.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

288

A state-of-the-art sound system is united with a traditional style rock club. A


formula of the success of the LKA.

8
2

ST1

7
1

SOURCE
ST2

SE

10

20

30

METERS

Materials Used

289

Geometrical data
Volume
Height, audience area
LWH

Approximately 5,000m3
68m
40226

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

1.15
1.13
3.06
1.42
1.33
0.47
0.86
0.66
0.89

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete; wood direct on concrete on the dance floor in front of the stage.
Ceiling: 100-mm mineral wool with a 200-mm air cavity behind.
Walls: Concrete; upper half: 10cm of mineral wool in linen direct on concrete.

Stage area
Floor: Wooden floor on concrete.
Ceiling: 100-mm mineral wool with a 200-mm air cavity behind.
Walls: 5-cm-thick wood fiber slabs with a 3-cm cavity behind.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; chairs and tables are always mounted in the rear half of the room.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

290

The snooker room with posters from famous visiting bands.


T30 in audience area
2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

State of Hall When Measured

291

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

2k

4k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]


EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

Octave band [Hz]


D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500

1k

Octave band [Hz]

292

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Mediolanum Forum
Milan
Number of concerts per year: N/A Total in venue: N/A
Founded: 1990
Capacity: 11,000
Architect: N/A
Acoustician: N/A
The Forum of Milan, which is today called Mediolanum Forum, opened in
1990 and is the main covered polyfunctional venue in the north of Italy.
Along with the PalaLottomatica in Rome, which is also managed by the
ForumNet Group, the Mediolanum Forum is the only Italian structure to be
included in the prestigious European Arenas Association (EAA), which features
important European arenas. The building is arranged over three floors and has
a total area of 40,000m2. Thanks to its modularity and suitability for any type
of event, over the years it has become a point of reference for the biggest international events, including concerts with the most famous artists, sporting events
of primary importance, shows, conventions, fairs, exhibitions, competitions, and
television productions as well as smaller events, such as gala dinners and pre- or
after-show activities. The Mediolanum Forum offers various internal spaces with
different dimensions and characteristics. These can be used simultaneously or
independently, as required by the type of event. As well as the Central Arena, the
venue offers the Premium, Gallery, and Gold Halls, the Quota Otto spaces, and
various external spaces. The Arenas upper tier (Quota Ventuno) hosts the Sky
Belvedere, a refined environment that directly overlooks the parterre and can be
exclusively reserved for press conferences, meetings, and corporate hospitality
activities. The Mediolanum Forum has ample dedicated parking facilities and will
soon have a dedicated stop on Line 2 of the Milanese Underground.
The Central Arena is the heart of the Mediolanum Forum. It is the largest space
within the venue and is situated at 4.96m above the external ground level.
As well as hosting international music star concerts, large shows, and sporting
events with different space configurations and areas, the Central Arena also hosts
conventions, gala dinners and receptions, competitions, and fairs. Different space
configurations can in fact be offered through the use of the buildings long or short
sides, the stalls, a modular use of the stands, and so on. A dimming system for the
stands enables the capacity to be reduced from 11,000 to 3,500 places, and the
parterre area alone can host more than 2,000 seated people. Along the two sides of
the Arena there are 12 changing rooms of different sizes (that are available as service spaces) and loading and unloading take place through a roomy freight elevator and two vehicle entrances that lead straight to the parterre area. The versatility
of the Central Arena is completed by the vertical height of the space which leaves
plenty of room for all types of equipment to be suspended.

Mediolanum Forum

293

Mediolanum Forum is a traditional sports arena that changes its name from
time to time.

A young and helpful crew meets those visiting the venue during office hours.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

294

SOURCE

10

20

30

40

50

60

METERS

Materials Used

295

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH(max)

Approximately 150,000m3
Approximately. 1178126m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

2.46
2.56
8.98
1.26
1.05

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Perforated metal.
Walls: Concrete.
Seats are made of unupholstered plastic.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; no additional seats mounted. Curtains drawn in front of the upper balcony
level as for the 7,000 person configuration. Floor covered with rubber layer for the
installment of the ice hockey field. Speakers were put in a 90-degree angle unlike
measurements in other venues because of work on the floor.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

296

T30 in audience area


4

T30 [s]

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

EDT in audience area


4

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500

1k

Octave band [Hz]

MelkwegThe Max

297

MelkwegThe Max
Amsterdam
Number of concerts per year: 150. In both halls in the venue: 400
Founded: 1970 (Melkweg)/1995 (this hall, The Max)
Capacity: 1,500
Architect: Jim Klinkhamer (Jonkman & Klinkhamer Architects)
Acoustician: N/A
Owner: The building is owned by Municipality of Amsterdam. Melkweg is a foundation
The Melkweg (English translation: Milky Way) is a popular music
venue and cultural center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. It is located on the
Lijnbaansgracht, near the Leidseplein, a prime nightlife center of Amsterdam. It is
housed in a former factory and warehouse and is divided into a number of spaces
of varying sizes. In addition to a large hall for rock and pop music concerts (The
Max), theres a second space for live music and there are also spaces for dance/
theater, cinema, photography, and media-art. The Melkweg is run by a nonprofit
organization that has existed since 1970. The building itself dates back to 1898.
In 40years, Melkweg developed from a social cultural meeting place to a professional cultural center, attracting over 400,000 visitors a year. Many of the big stars of
pop and world music have performed here in their early days, including the Grateful
Dead, U2 (first show outside Northern Ireland), Youssou NDour, Nirvana, Prince,
Lady Gaga, and so on. The Melkweg originally had a concert hall with a capacity
of 700, and extended it by creating a second, larger space for live music in 1995:
The Max. This hall was enlarged from 1,000 to 1,500 capacity in 2007. Since 2009
Melkweg also programs concerts in the new Rabozaal (1,400 capacity), created
together with their neighbors: the City Theatre. Photos DigiDaan/Melkweg.

Melkweg is a legendary Amsterdam rock club.

298

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Acousticians have obtained a high degree of absorption even at low frequencies


in the ceiling.

MelkwegThe Max

299

10

20

30

METERS

300

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Geometrical data
Volume
LW H
Height of stage
Stage opening

2,600m3
32155.6m
1.7m
14.54m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

0.81
0.78
6.03
0.76
0.78
0.32
0.9
1.12
0.83

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Rubber on concrete.
Ceiling: Suspended mineral wool with large cavity above.
Walls: Layers of gypsum board on cavity. End wall: wooden fiber slabs.

Stage Area
Floor: Wood on cavity.
Ceiling: Suspended mineral wool with large cavity above.
Walls: Layers of gypsum board on cavity. End wall: wooden fiber slabs. Backdrop.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty: some equipment on stage.

State of Hall When Measured

301

Melkweg audience.
T30 in audience area
2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

302

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

2k

4k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]


EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500

1k

Octave band [Hz]

MEN Arena

303

MEN Arena
Manchester
Number of concerts per year: 75+
Founded: 1995
Capacity: 21,000
Architect: DLA/Elerbe Beckett
Acoustician: Ove Arup and Partners
The Manchester Evening News Arena, managed and operated by SMG Europe,
is one of the busiest venues in the world and the largest indoor arena in Europe.
Opened in 1995, the MEN Arena has staged the biggest names in live entertainment from U2, the Rolling Stones, Madonna, and Pavarotti to the record-breaking
2010/2011 residency by local comedian Peter Kay. Attracting over one million
visitors each year, the 21,000 capacity Arena was named International Venue of
the Year in 2002 by industry publication Pollstar and has been nominated an unrivaled 10 consecutive times.
In 1995 the venue was officially opened by Torvill and Dean who broke the
UK Box Office record for a single ice performance to over 15,000 fans. In 1998
Ricky Hitman Hatton beat Karl Taylor in his debut MEN Arena bout, the first
of 14 fights at his hometown venue. 1999 saw the Arena host the homecoming
of Manchester United after they won The Treble. In 2000 Mike Tysons UK
debut fight at the Arena was watched by over 100 million people worldwide. 2001
saw local band James perform their farewell show at the Arena, before returning
with a sell-out concert in 2007! The venue also held the 2002 Commonwealth
Games Boxing and Netball tournaments, as well as U2 playing to 19,384 fans,
the biggest single audience of their European Elevation Tour. Bono declared the
MEN Arena the best concert venue in the country. In 2004 Madonna returned
to Manchester for the first time since her 1980s British debut at the infamous
Hacienda to perform two sell-out shows. In 2005 Comedian Lee Evans broke the
Guinness world record for a solo act performing to the biggest comedy audience
and comedian Peter Kay, who used to work as a MEN Arena Steward, returned
with his record-breaking Mum Wants A Bungalow Tour. Now an annual event,
the first Versus Cancer charity concert was staged by Ex-Smiths member Andy
Rourke in 2006. 2007 saw Kylie Minogue crowned as the biggest-selling solo
artist in the history of the Arena after her January Showgirl Homecoming dates
bring her total Arena performances to 17; and local band Take That became the
biggest-selling act of all time with a total 27 MEN Arena performances following their 11 shows in December. In 2008 the Arena became the UKs first music
and entertainment venue to host competitive swimming after staging the 9th FINA
World Short Course Swimming Championships in April and the Arena became
Kylie Minogues number one venue after official figures reveal the international
pop star has performed more shows at the Arenaand to more peoplethan any
other venue in the world. Peter Kay broke box office records in 2009 after all 20
nights for his 2010 spring residency sold out in an hour. The local comedian later

304

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

announced he would return for an additional eight shows in 2011. In 2009 Westlife
announced they would return to the Arena with two 2010 shows making them the
biggest selling group (29 performances) in the history of the venue, surpassing the
joint record held with Take That. Also in 2009 the Arenas summer family blockbuster, Walking With Dinosaurs won Best Family Show at the Manchester
Evening News Theatre Awards, and the venue smashed attendance figures after
welcoming over one and a half million ticketholders. The MEN Arena celebrated
its 15th anniversary with a star-studded Birthday Bash featuring Alexandra Burke,
Scouting For Girls, Pixie Lott, The Script, Beverley Knight, The Saturdays, and
many others. The summer of 2011 saw the Manchester venue stage the world premiere of Batman Live (July) and the European premiere of Glee (June) as well as
Kylie cementing her position as the biggest selling solo artist in the history of the
venue after her four Aphrodite Les Folies in April shows brought her total Arena
performances to 27, and the Children In Need Rocks Manchester in November,
featured a star-studded line-up including Gary Barlow, Coldplay, Lady Gaga, JLS
and local favorites Elbow.
*Based on concert ticket sales between January 2002 and June 2007, as calculated by Pollstar.

MEN in full swing. Photo: Karin Albinsson.

MEN Arena

305

Curtains in front of seats do not have a significant impact on T30 when they are
upholstered. Curtains can on the other hand be used in front of reflective surfaces
to prevent echoes and for lowering T30 at higher frequencies.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

306

1
SOURCE
4
ST1

10

20

30

40

50

60METERS

Materials Used

307

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH

NA
13010036

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

2.47
2.22
0.40
1.46
1.34

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Thin metal trapez, perforated.
Walls: Very little wall area of concrete.
Chairs are upholstered also on rear back.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; some rigging on floor. Most of the end of the venue was detached by large curtains probably causing only a very slight drop in reverberation time mostly above 1kHz.

Roger Waters secures the fireworks in the MEN.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

308

T30 in audience area


4

T30 [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


4

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

Nosturi

309

Nosturi
Helsinki
Number of concerts per year: 120
Founded: Built in 1957, converted to a concert hall in 1999
Capacity: 900
Architect:
Original building 1957- Kaj Salenius.
Conversion 1999- Jan Tromp and Markus Nevalainen, Valvomo Architects.
Acoustician: Akukon/Henrik Mller.
Nosturi, a live music venue with a character as versatile as that of its visitors,
sits by the seaside near downtown Helsinki. The shipyards old warehouse is
operated by the Live Music Association (ELMU ry), whose offices can be found
within, along with a fully licensed restaurant and rehearsal spaces for 50 bands.
Nosturi takes pride in providing a platform for a broad spectrum of culturally
relevant events, includingbut not limited toconcerts, raves, youth discos, performing arts, theatre, and art gallery functions. Everything from unknown underground bands to the largest mainstream acts have graced the stage of Nosturi at
one time or another.
There are over 120 shows a year in the main hall and over 100 gigs downstairs
at the bar.
Nosturis main hall operates on two floors, which means that the maximum
audience capacity is nothing short of 900 people. The floor level in Nosturi is
narrower than the balcony level. One end of the space houses the sizeable stage,
which can be observed from both floors.
The ground floor is also home to the restaurant, going by the name of Ravintola
Alakerta, which serves as an excellent venue for smaller gigs and events. Alakerta
can manage up to 120 standing guests, and works ideally for parties of about 70
seated guests. What is more, the outdoor summer terrace at the waterfront can
comfortably seat well over 100 people in the sunshine.
As a venue, Nosturi is easily modifiable to suit a particular purpose by altering
interiors and fittings. The mezzanine, for example, can seat an audience of 250.
Whether the event requires a motorcycle-able catwalk, a dinner table the length
of the entire venue, or a retractable roof, everything can be (and has been!) done.
Should your guests wish to arrive directly to the venue by boat, this is also possible.
Naturally.

310

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

What it is all about! Photo: Eeka Mkynen.

Nosturi

311

Classic rock venues are often found in uninhabited areas. Photo: Eeka
Mkynen.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

312

10

20

30

METERS

Materials Used

313

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH

3,000m3
2914610m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

0.64
NA
NA
2.48
1.89

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Mainly concrete; raised platforms are wood on cavity.
Ceiling:
Main ceiling: Mineral wool on concrete.
Ceiling under balcony: Porous plate made of wood shavings and cement.
Walls: Brick and concrete, curtains and some absorbtive wall plates directly on
walls.

Stage Area
Floor: Plywood.
Ceiling: Mineral wool on concrete.
Walls: Brick and concrete with molton curtains.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

314

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

O2 Berlin

315

O2 Berlin
Berlin
Number of concerts per year: 70. In all halls in the venue: 100
Founded: 2008
Capacity: 17,000
Architect: HOK/Kansas City
Acoustician: Wolfgang Ahnert/Acoustic Design Ahnert
Since opening on September 10th, 2008 the O2 World Berlin has changed
Germanys entertainment landscape. Owned and operated by the Anschutz
Entertainment Group, one of the leaders in the sport and entertainment business,
the O2 World is widely regarded as one of Europes most modern arenas. It is the
main stage in the German capital for sports and entertainment with a capacity of
up to 17,000 fans including club seats, luxury suites, private restaurants, clubs, and
hospitality spaces in addition to a full array of the most modern amenities.
The Kansas City based architectural firm HOK was responsible for designing the arena that was constructed in just 727days. The development process was
managed and controlled by ICON Venue Group to complete the project on time
and on budget. The O2 World debuts many never-before experienced technological systems, conveniences, and features including one of the worlds largest architectural LED lighting grids. Spanning across the entire south glass faade on the
exterior of the new arena, the breathtaking 1,390-m2 installation displays motion
graphics and video content on a massive scale. Acoustic Design Ahnert (ADA)
was contracted to secure the optimal acoustical set-up for the O2 World. To reduce
the reverberation time sound-absorbing material was installed throughout the
arena bowl such as ceiling banners and panels on all the walls.
Right from the start O2 World was put to test with four events in as many days.
Opening weekend kicked off with Metallica blasting the inaugural tunes, followed
by Herbert Grnemeyer the next day. Music took a break for a hockey game on day
three, but was back with a Coldplay concert to complete the premiere. Although the
ambitious opening program made the O2 World an instant success, it did not happen
without the expected and unexpected challenges of breaking in a brand new arena.
Due to a busy PR schedule for the release of their record, Death Magnetic, Metallica
were a little behind schedule and conducted their sound check while 17,000 anxious
fans were already lined up outside the arena. Herbert Grnemeyer, playing a centerstage gig for the first time, performed until way after midnight, thereby challenging
crew and production to execute the changeover to the hockey game, scheduled for
the next afternoon, in an almost impossible time frame.
Since then O2 World has become a must-play venue featuring concerts by Paul
McCartney, Tina Turner, Pink, Eagles, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Neil Young,
Kings of Leon, Supertramp, Alicia Keys, Beyonc, The Scorpions, Lady Gaga,
Joe Cocker, Kiss, Rod Stewart, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Leonard Cohen, and Depeche
Mode including several own-promoted events by artists including The Black Eyed

316

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Peas, Paul van Dyk, Die Fantastischen Vier, and Britney Spears. It has also hosted
the MTV European Music Awards and the German Music Awards ECHO.

O2 Berlin.

The American way: thick porous banners in the ceiling installed for broadband
absorption.

O2 Berlin

317

There is 20-cm mineral wool behind the perforated metal walls with double gypsum plates behind. A good combination of absorption and insulation is achieved for
the purpose.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

318

1
ST2
7
SOURCE
ST1

4
3

10

20

30

40

50

60

METERS

Materials Used

319

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH(max)

280,000m3
1009535m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

2.44
2.03
0.65
1.7
1.19

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Vinyl on concrete.
Ceiling: Thin trapezoid metal nonperforated. Suspended approximately 6-cm thick
porous absorptive banners at a distance from approximately 0.30.6m from metal.
Walls: Perforated metal then 20-cm mineral wool and then double layer gypsum in
front of large cavity.
Seats are upholstered.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; no seats mounted on floor.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

320

T30 in audience area


4

T30 [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


4

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

O2 World Hamburg

321

O2 World Hamburg
Hamburg
Number of concerts per year: 50. Total number of events: approximately 130
Founded: 2002
Capacity: 16,000
Architect: EVATA Finland OY (now Pyry)
Acoustician: EVATA Finland OY (now Pyry)
On November 8, 2002 the largest multifunctional arena in northern Germany
opened its gates. The EVATA Finland OY Company was responsible for the buildings architecture and acoustics. The arena can host up to 16,000 people. Since its
opening the arena hosted more than 1,100 concerts, shows, and sporting events.
Stars such as Alicia Keys, Beyonc, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney,
Metallica, Shakira, Take That, and KISS performed in the venue, formerly known
as Color Line Arena. Many boxing world champions were crowned and the home
teams Hamburg Freezers (hockey) and HSV Handball (handball) celebrated goals
and victories. About 130 events take place every year with more than one million
visitors attending the shows, concerts, and home games. The arena can be minimized to a 6,500- and even a 4,000-person configuration.
Since fall of 2007 the O2 World Hamburg is part of the Anschutz Entertainment
Group, a subsidiary of the Anschutz Corporation, one of the worlds leading sports
and entertainment presenters. In April 2010 the arena was renamed O2 World
Hamburg and has since undergone remodeling to make one of Europes most modern
arenas even more attractive.
During the remodeling process a state-of-the-art 360-degree LED board was
installed below the upper gallery. Also remodeled were 24 of the suites in the arena.
The guests can choose between three different styles: classic, lounge, and high table.
A highlight for special occasions is the show suite. Up to 48 people can enjoy an
event in the new suite, which also can be separated into two suites with 24 seats each.
Upgrading their premium and suites sections, the O2 World Hamburg started to
build an extension to the existing building in April of 2011. The extension, which
will be finished in the spring of 2012, will serve as the new entry for the arenas
premium guests and suite-holders. It will offer new ways for hospitality thanks to
a state-of-the-art club level and lounge level and it will be home for several new
offices for arena employees.
As one of Europes most modern multifunctional arenas the O2 World Hamburg
is open for almost any idea artists may come up with. Rammstein is known to play
with fire. Cirque de Soleil once used a stage that was 40m long. The Ben Hur
show featured a historic Roman setting and live chariot racing. German rock icon
Peter Maffay entered the stage on a Harley Davidson motorcycle. The Dinosaur
show brought the giants from primeval times back to life. And the Night of the
Jumps featured the worlds most exciting motocross stunt show, with the riders
almost touching the roof.

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7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

The O2 World Hamburg hosts all these concerts, shows, and sporting events for
one reason: to entertain Hamburg. And so it does; it had 146 events in 2010 and
was thereby ranked number 8 in the annual Pollstar magazine ranking of the top
100 concert arenas worldwide in ticket sales.

The O2 World Hamburg is a busy arena that some may know by its former
name: Color Line Arena.

The line of color is kept blue.

Materials Used

323

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH(max)

500,000m3
15011033m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

2.66
2.49
2.69
2.58
1.69

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: A layer of trapezoidal sheet metal without perforation, then a layer of
solid insulation and roofing felt on top.
Walls: Walls made of lime-sand brick. The walls on the lower level are completely
covered in cotton material.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; no additional seats mounted.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

324

T30 in audience area


8

T30 [s]

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

EDT in audience area


8

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

O2 London

325

O2 London
London
Number of concerts per year: 60. In all halls in the venue: 120
Founded: 2007
Capacity: 20,000
Architect: N/A
Acoustician: Vanguardia Consulting
The O2, visually typeset in branding as The O2, is a large entertainment district on
the Greenwich peninsula in South East London, England, including an indoor arena,
a music club, a Cineworld cinema, an exhibition space, piazzas, bars, and restaurants.
It was built largely within the former Millennium Dome, a large dome-shaped building built to house an exhibition celebrating the turn of the third millennium; as such,
The Dome remains a name in common usage for the venue. Naming rights to the
district were purchased by O2 plc (now Telefnica Europe plc) from its developers,
Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), during the development of the district. AEG
owns the long-term lease on the O2 Arena and surrounding leisure space.
Construction of the arena started in 2003 and finished in 2007. Owing to the
impossibility of using cranes inside the dome structure, the arenas roof was constructed on the ground within the dome and then lifted. The arena buildings structure was then built around the roof. The arena building, which houses the arena
and the arena concourse, is independent of all other buildings in The O2 and
houses all the arenas facilities. The whole arena building takes up 40% of the
total dome structure. The venue, rebranded the O2, was reopened to the public
on June 24th, 2007 with a concert by Bon Jovi in the arena. The O2 celebrated
its first year with a book, including a double-page picture of Elton John from his
September 2007 Red Piano show.
The seating arrangement throughout the whole arena can be modified, similar to the Manchester Evening News Arena [4]. The ground surface can also be
changed among ice rink, basketball court, exhibition space, conference venue, private hire venue, and concert venue. The arena was built to reduce echoing which
has previously been a problem in many London music venues [5]. The sound manager for U2, Joe OHerlihy, worked with acoustic engineers on acoustics.
Despite The O2 arenas being open for only seven months of the year, the venue
sold over 1.2 million tickets in 2007, making it the third most popular venue in the
world for concerts and family shows narrowly behind the MEN Arena (1.25million) and Madison Square Garden in New York (1.23million). In 2008, it became
the worlds busiest venue taking the crown from the MEN Arena with sales of more
than two million [6]. The O2 arena since its opening in 2007 has been host to many
concerts, from UK bands and artists to international superstars. The O2 was named
the Worlds Best Venue by Pollstar in 2009. Pollstar figures for 2010 placed The
O2 as the worlds number one music venue with a huge 1, 737,654 tickets sold last
year, more than any other arena in the world. The Pollstar industry listings chart

326

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

showed The O2 arenas year end ticket sales beat their nearest competitor, Madison
Square Garden, by over 50%.
Anschutz opened The O2 arena on June 23rd, 2007, with a free event for all of the
buildings employees billed as the O2 premiere featuring Peter Kay, Tom Jones,
Kaiser Chiefs, and Basement Jaxx, with the show hosted by Dermot OLeary.
Snow Patrol then played a concert to an audience made up of sponsors, local residents, local business employees and winners of an online competition.
David Campbell, President and CEO of AEG Europe, commented: Princes
21 nights at The O2 are a testament to Londons eagerly awaited new entertainment destination. Were thrilled that a world-class artist like Prince is part of our
opening season, and that hell be breaking a world record in our arena.
The Spice Girls performed 17 sold-out shows during their 2007/2008 Return of
the Spice Girls tour. The first dates tickets were sold in 38s.
Led Zeppelin performed a one-off reunion concert at the arena on December
10th, 2007. Over one million people applied online for tickets.
Michael Jackson was preparing for a sell-out series of 50 shows at the O2, due to
take place July 13th, 2009March 6, 2010, when he died much too early of cardiac
arrest.
Legendary heavy metal band native to London, Iron Maiden, was scheduled to
perform here on August 5th and 6th, 2011, the last dates of The Final Frontier
World Tour.
Bon Jovi performed 12 nights in June 2010 as part of their The Circle Tour.
They also became the first -ever artists to perform on the roof of the O2 Arena a
few days prior to their 12-night residency.

Packed. The O2 in London was rated best international arena in the world 2011
by Pollstar.

O2 London

327

6
2

7
SOURCE

328

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH(max)

400,000m3
approximately 12511543m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

2.17
1.83
2.69
2.06
1.38

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Perforated liner over entire ceiling areal with 40-cm cavity with broadband absorption.
Walls: Upper tier rear wall: acoustic panel finish; broadband absorber of 60-cm
depth. Lower tier back wall. Acoustic panels 80% coverage above 1m. Balcony
fronts: Stretch fabric panels with absorbent behind.
Upholstered seats with upholstered underside.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; no seats on floor.

State of Hall When Measured

329

Spectacular. O2 World, London from the outside.


T30 in audience area
8

T30 [s]

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

2k

4k

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

330

EDT in audience area


8

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500

1k

Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

O13 Tilburg

331

O13 Tilburg
Tilburg
Number of concerts per year: 100
Founded: 1998
Capacity: 2,000
Architect: Mels Crouwel, Benthem Crouwel Architects
Acoustician: Peutz
Owner: City of Tilburg
Unforgettable shows, amazing dance events, festivals, furious stand-up comedians, one-off projects, and even fresh young talent got the chance to perform. It
is easy to say that O13 is an unique venue in the center of Tilburg. O13 consists of
three halls: large and medium-sized auditoria (Dommelsch Hall and Small Hall)
and a smaller space for new/specialist music trends (Stage01). It also contains a
studio and several rehearsal rooms. Spatially the building meshes with the Tivoli
parking structure as one large built mass that screens off the street and cleanly
marks off the park. The expanded metal screen of the parking facility is extended
on one side to project in front of the facade of O13. Faades and roof are clad in
black EPDM rubber filled with glass wool and sporting real CDs on its surface.
In 1998, O13 was the first concert hall in The Netherlands which was newly built
for the sole purpose of live music. Since then artists such as Robbie Williams, Nine
Inch Nails, Muse, Alice Cooper, The Roots, Tool, Blondie, Damien Rice, Kraftwerk,
Simple Minds, Snoop Dogg, 30s To Mars, Slayer, Queens Of The Stoneage, Sigur
Ros, Editors, Interpol, Armin van Buuren, Pablo Francisco, Ice Cube, Chuck Berry,
and many others have performed in O13. O13 appeals to all lovers of pop music from
The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and sometimes even the whole of Europe.
Quality, public opinion, and affordability are of great importance. O13 organizes
about 400 activities with more than 230,000 visitors each year.

Everybody on the sloped audience area enjoys great views and great sound.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

332

No one in the audience of max. 2,000 persons is more than 22m away from the
PA speakers.

B7
4
UB3

SE

SOURCE

B6

ST1

10

20

ST2

30

METERS

Materials Used

333

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH
Surface area of stage
Height of stage
Stage opening

7,500m3
322211.0m
822.4m
1.67

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

1.07
0.88
4.89
1.73
1.01
0.51
0.89
0.97
0.91

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Suspended mineral wool.
Walls: Concrete. Wood fiber slabs on cavity on side walls in front of the stage near
the loudspeakers.

Stage Area
Floor: Nonabsorptive vinyl direct on concrete.
Ceiling: Suspended mineral wool.
Walls: Wood fiber slabs on side walls with cavity for a total of 7-cm depth.
Backdrop: curtains on the back wall.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

334

O2 Tilburg is indeed a modern facility.


T30 in audience area
2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

2k

4k

State of Hall When Measured

335

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

1k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

336

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

2k

4k

Olympia

337

Olympia
Paris
Number of concerts per year: 120. In all halls in the venue: 320
Founded: 1954
Capacity: 2,200
Architect:
Acoustician:
Owner
Founded in 1888, by Joseph Oller, the creator of the Moulin Rouge, today
it is easily recognizable by its giant red glowing letters announcing its name. It
opened in 1889 as the Montagnes Russes but was renamed the Olympia in 1893.
In addition to musicians, the Olympia played host to a variety of entertainment
including circuses, ballets, and operettas. However, following a steady decline in
appearances by the great stars, from 1929 until 1944 it served as a movie theater.
It may have opened as a music hall under the German occupation of France during
World War II, but certainly in 1945 after the Liberation, it was a music hall free
to Allied troops in uniform. Attendees had to listen to the playing of four national
anthems before the varied programs that always ended with a spirited French cancan performed by dancers, some of whom were no longer young.
Thereafter, at times it may have reverted to movies again until Bruno Coquatrix
revived it as a music hall with a grand reopening in February 1954. After his death, it
ultimately went into another decline and was in danger of being torn down and turned
into a parking lot but on January 7th, 1993, Frances then minister of culture, Jack
Lang, issued a preservation order for the Olympia that resulted in two years of construction work to rebuild a perfect replica of the faade and the grandeur of its famous
red interior. dith Piaf achieved great acclaim at the Olympia, giving several series of
recitals from January 1955 until October 1962. Jeff Buckley, long an admirer of Piaf,
gave what he considered the finest performance of his career there in 1995, which was
later released in 2001 on Live at LOlympia. Jacques Brels 1961 and 1964 concerts
at LOlympia are legendary and preserved to this day on new CD releases. Marlene
Dietrichs 1962 Olympia concert was broadcast. On May 34, 1972, The Grateful
Dead played two concerts here as part of their first major European tour. Both shows
were recorded and songs from each were released on their 1972 live album Europe 72.
Inaugurated by the biggest star in France at the time, singer/dancer La Goulue,
the venue has showcased a wide variety of performers, from French acts including Alan Stivell, Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Adamo, Gilbert Bcaud, Johnny
Hallyday, and Mireille Mathieu, to international stars of very different musical genres: Chuck Berry, Josphine Baker, The Animals, Celine Dion, Cher, Diana Ross
and The Supremes, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Diana Krall,
War, Fairuz, Jeff Buckley, Robert Plant and The Strange Sensation, Jimi Hendrix,
Judy Garland, Kraftwerk, Nana Mouskouri, Genesis, Wings, Paul McCartney, Paul
Simon, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Black Sabbath, PJ Harvey, Lady
Gaga, The Corrs, Luciano Pavarotti, Morrissey, The Shadows, Nelly Furtado, New

338

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Order, Nick Cave, Nina Simone, Patti Smith, Phil Collins, Roger Hodgson, Primal
Scream, KISS, Scorpions, Simple Minds, The Beatles, The Cure, The Jackson 5,
Otis Redding, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Rolling Stones, Dave Matthews Band,
Bjrk, Dionne Warwick, Violetta Villas, Velvet Underground, Leonard Cohen, Manu
Dibango, Madonna, Katy Perry, Christina Aguilera, and James Brown.

The red seats on the lower level are removable for standing audience pop and
rock performances.

Piaf, Beatles, Bowie, Brel, Dylan, Zeppelin, Pavarotti, Jackson 5, Stones,


Hendrix, Buckley, and Wonder.

Olympia

339

Pierre
Dalles sur plots

Pierre

Pierre
Dalles sur plots

Dalles sur plots

Isolation
Etancheite

Isolation
Etancheite

Isolation
Etancheite

Isolation
Etancheite

4
SOURCE

SE

ST1
ST2

3
4

B5

10

20

30

METERS

340

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH

13,000m3
502014.3m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

1.23
1.1
3.69
1.63
1.47
0.82
0.84
1.02
1.56

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete with temporary flooring for the mounting of chairs. Carpet on
balcony.
Ceiling: Painted concrete. Suspended reflector above balcony.
Walls: Painted plates on cavity. Walls are not vertical but tilted slightly upwards.
Back wall of thick perforated panels with cavity behind.

Stage Area
Floor: Vinyl direct on concrete.
Ceiling: Painted concrete.
Walls: 5-cm thick wood fiber panels direct on concrete.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty with seats mounted. All seats on the lower level can be removed for standing
audience concerts.

State of Hall When Measured

341

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

342

EDT on stage

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

2k

4k

1k

2k

4k

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

Oslo Spektrum Arena

343

Oslo Spektrum Arena


Oslo
Number of concerts per year: 60
Founded: 1990
Capacity: 9,700
Architect: LPO Arkitektkontor AS
Acoustician: Multiconsult and later Brekke and Strand
Owner: Norges Varemesse
Oslo Spektrum was originally built as an indoor multipurpose arena, ideally
suited for trade fairs, sports, and concert events. The first event on the program
when the doors were opened to the public on December 9th, 1990 was an ice
hockey game, closely followed by a rock concert featuring the famous Norwegian
group a-ha. In the 20years that have passed, Oslo Spektrum has undergone continuous improvement making the arena more flexible and better suited to the needs
of organizers, audiences, and performers.
The building was designed by architects LPO Arkitektkontor AS in an architecture competition organized by Oslo City Council in connection with the development of a large inner-city area in the 1980s. A centrally located concert arena with
a capacity of almost 10,000 people put both Oslo and Norway on the international
concert tour map and was designed to attract international performers and events.
The building is constructed in concrete and brick and decorated internally and
externally with handmade bricks produced by artist Guttorm Guttormsgaard and
ceramicist Sren Ubisch based on print fragments created by artist Rolf Nesch.
When audiences enter the main arena, they encounter a space that is decorated in
dark tones, with muted lighting and well thought-out practical features, designed
to offer the best possible overall experience.
The movable grandstand and a sophisticated system of curtains offers scope
for a wide variety of events. The arena can be configured as a full concert hall
with general admission and/or seating. The flexible curtain system also enables the
creation of a smaller arena that can be extended in response to the needs of the
audience.
When the arena was built in 1990, the sound and acoustic conditions were
adapted to the wide range of events that would be hosted. Since its inception,
the arena has undergone a continuous process of improvement and a number of
adjustments have been made in line with the shift towards a greater focus on concert events.
Oslo Spektrum hosts approximately 100events a year. These include concerts,
musicals, trade fairs, ice shows, sporting events, conferences, and banquets. The
arena is the venue for the annual Nobel Peace Prize Concert. Elton John, Bob
Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Pavarotti, Tina Turner, Frank Sinatra, Iron Maiden, and
Bruce Springsteen are just some of the artists who have appeared on the Oslo
Spektrum stage.

344

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Oslo Spektrum has undergone radical acoustic improvements just prior to this
measurement thanks to a dynamic leadership and correct consulting. The result is
outstanding.

A low T30 even at 125Hz ensures a high value of critical distance. Due to an
intelligent shape of the hall only few members of the audiences will suffer from a
too-reverberant sound. Here the challenge is speaker coverage.

Oslo Spektrum Arena

345

SE

ST2

SOURCE

ST1

10

20

30

40

50

60

METERS

346

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH(max)

150,000m3
7194.526.5m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

1.61
1.66
0.87
1.64
1.23

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Suspended 5-cm thick mineral wool ceiling with a large cavity before a
thin nonperforated steel trapezoid ceiling.
Walls: 10-cm thick mineral wool slabs with 10-cm cavity behind.

State When Measured


No additional chairs.

State When Measured

347

T30 in audience area


4

T30 [s]

0 63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

EDT in audience area


4

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

348

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Palau Sant Jordi


Barcelona
Number of concerts per year: N/A
Founded: 1990
Capacity: 17,960
Architect: Arata Isozaki
Acoustician: N/A
Owner: Ajuntament de Barcelona (Barcelona City Hall)
Of all the buildings of the Olympic site, Arata Isozakis Palau Sant Jordi is the
most surprising, an undeniable symbol of Barcelona. Its immense dome was built
at ground level with the most advanced techniques and then raised by a hydraulic
mechanism in 10days until its height was fixed at 45m. The Palau, conceived as a
versatile and multifunctional enclosure, is equipped with state-of-the-art technology.
It is an intelligent building where everything is self-adjusting: temperature, light, air,
sound, and image screens. It also has numerous other sections: services for athletes,
press, bars, VIPs, and the offices of the company that administers the venue.
The Main Hall is totally versatile, with a lower level of retractable seats. Up to
the moment, they have been transformed into a giant swimming pool, an ice rink,
a theater, or a banqueting hall.
All the pop-rock, the best singers, the best groups, the biggest and best productions, the ones that are in style and the legends. U2, Dire Straits, Madonna,
AC DC, Metallica, Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Bruce Springsteen, Shakira, Fito and
Fitipaldis, Estopa, and Alejandro Sanz have played there.
Shows for all Audiences Choirs performed and sung operas, the best melodic
singing, the great musicals, the singer/songwriters, classical and popular dancing, flamenco, and even very particular ways of interpreting music. Montserrat
Caball, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Frank Sinatra, Julio Iglesias, Joan
Manel Serrat, Joaquin Sabina, and the great choreographies of Igor Moiseyev,
Nacho Duato, Joaqun Corts.
Many nonmusical events are taking place there from Disneys classics to Sponge
Bob Square Pants, from the Cirque du Soleil to large television productions. It has
been possible to follow the motocross competitions every year with the best competitors in the world, and to bring into the city water sports such as jet-ski racing and
even windsurfing. Theyve had mountain sports including snow skiing and motorcycle trials, as well as social, political, religious and company events.

Palau Sant Jordi

349

Palau Sant Jordi was built for the 1992 Olympic games. The lowest level of
seats are removable.

The beautiful dome of zinc corrugated iron rises on the Olympic Esplanade just
a couple of kilometers from the Barcelona city center.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

350

ST2

SOURCE

ST1

10

20

30

40

50

60

METERS

Materials Used

351

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH(max)

approximately 400,000m3
12010242m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

4.98
4.4
-4.62
0.76
1.03

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: The circumference is thin perforated plate with a large cavity and mineral wool behind. The large area in the center of the ceiling is covered with methacrylate skylights.
Walls: Concrete. End walls of sandstone typical for the region. Direct coupling to
the hard surfaced hallways behind the seats.
Seats are not upholstered.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; no additional seats mounted.

The reverberation time at mid and high are bound to change very significantly indeed
in venues where unupholstered seats are covered by several thousand audience members.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

352

T30 in audience area


8

T30 [s]

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

EDT in audience area


8

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

Paradiso

353

Paradiso
Amsterdam
Number of concerts per year: 120. In all halls in the venue: 320
Founded: 1968
Capacity: 1,500
Architect: N/A
Acoustician: N/A
It is housed in a converted former church building that dates from the nineteenth century and that was used until 1965 as the meeting hall for a liberal Dutch
religious group known as the Vrije Gemeente (Free Congregation). It is located
on de Weteringschans, bordering one of the nightlife and tourism centers of the
city. The main concert hall in the former church interior has high ceilings and two
balcony rings overlooking the stage area, with three large illuminated church windows above the stage. In addition to the main concert hall, there are two smaller
cafe stages, on an upper floor and in the basement.
Paradiso was squatted by hippies in 1967 who wanted to convert the church to an
entertainment and leisure club. The police ended the festivities the same year. In 1968
the city opened Paradiso as a publicly subsidized youth entertainment center. Along
with the nearby Melkweg (Milky Way), it soon became synonymous with the hippie
counterculture and the rock music of that era. It was one of the first locations in which
the use and sale of soft drugs was tolerated. From the mid-1970s, Paradiso became
increasingly associated with punk and new wave music, although it continued to program a wide variety of artists. Starting in the late 1980s, raves and themed dance parties
became frequent. In recent years, the venue has settled into an eclectic range of programming, which, besides rock, can include lectures, plays, classical music, and crossover artists. Long associated with clouds of tobacco and hashish smoke, Paradiso banned
smoking in 2008 in accordance with a nationwide ban on smoking in public venues.
Artists who have recorded or filmed concerts at the Paradiso include the rolling
stones, Joy Division, Willie Nelson, Arcade Fire, Nightwish, Bad Brains, Kayak,
Loudness, Nirvana, John Cale, The Cure, Soft Machine, Emilana Torrini, Jalebee
Cartel, Link Wray, Omar and the Howlers, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Beth
Hart, Dayna Kurtz, Dave Matthews, Smoosh, Suzanne Vega, Amy Winehouse,
Fiction Plane, Epica, Editors, Motorpsycho, Pain of Salvation, Riverside, and
Live. Glen Matlock played his last gig with the Sex Pistols at the Paradiso.
On May 2627, 1995, the Rolling Stones played two semiacoustic concerts at the
Paradiso. Scalped tickets reportedly sold for many thousands of dollars. Recorded
tracks from these concerts were released on the Stones Stripped album later that
year. Keith Richards said that the Paradiso concerts were the best live shows the
Stones ever did. In the 1990s, the future of Paradiso became something of a political issue in Amsterdam, because there was some political resistance to the continuation of the subsidies that allowed the venue to operate in its central city location
[2]. More recently, supporters have successfully argued that the Paradiso subsidy is
reasonable in comparison with subsidies given to other performance venues.

354

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Some of the only surfaces with absorption material are underneath balconies
and many surfaces are diffusive. The sound engineers position is in the rear corner
but not under the balcony.

Paradiso

The beautiful old church room.

There is in fact two levels of balconies.

355

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

356

ST2

SOURCE

ST1

3
UB4

10

SE

B5

B6

20

30

METERS

Materials Used

357

Geometrical data
Volume
Height, audience area
LWH

6,000m3
14.2m
21.5191214.2m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

1.74
1.66
2.34
0.57
0.74
1.59
0.59
0.38
1.27

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Wood on joists. Thick perforated plates with cavity behind lower balconies.
Walls: Masonry.

Stage Area
Floor: Wood on cavity.
Ceiling: Wood on joists.
Walls: Masonry, curtains.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

358

T30 in audience area


4

T30 [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


4

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

State of Hall When Measured

359

EDT on stage
4

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

360

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Porsche Arena
Stuttgart
Number of concerts per year: 60
Founded: 2006
Capacity: 6,000
Architect: ASP Arkitekten, Stuttgart
Acoustician: NA
The seating capacity of the arena varies, from 5,100 to 8,000 people and it was
opened in 2006, after 14months of construction. To fund the construction, costs
had already been planned as preconstruction sales of the name rights. Dr. Ing h.c.
F. Porsche AG bought the name rights, for a 10M, for a term of 20years. The
arena is part of a sport complex that includes the adjacent Mercedes-Benz Arena
and Schleyerhalle. It is the venue for the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, a WTA
Tour event, and also hosted some matches at the 2007 World Mens Handball
Championship.
NeckarPark Stuttgart is one of the biggest and most attractive event sites in
Europe. Five state-of-the-art event locations for top international sports, cultural, business, and political events line the Mercedesstrae in the district of Bad
Cannstatt: the Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadium, the Carl Benz Center, the Mercedes
Benz Museum, and the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle and Porsche-Arena hall
duo. Extensively modernized and enlarged in 2006, the 15,500 capacity HannsMartin-Schleyer-Halle is the largest indoor arena in south Germany. When officially opened in 1983 it was Europes first multifunctional hall and together with
the Porsche-Arena, which opened in May 2006, it forms a unique hall duo in the
whole of Europe.
A light-flooded and airy lobby unites both halls. The elongated Porsche-Arena
is elegantly connected to the glass construction through which people stream into
both halls. Flexibility is the key and this is also mirrored in the diversity of the
events. From superstars on the national and international music scene to sports
events and big show productions; the program of events is as star-studded as it is
emotional. More than 14 million visitors to the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle are
clear proof of its attractiveness.
The diversity of events can be enjoyed as a double pack in the Hanns-MartinSchleyer-Halle and the Porsche-Arena whereby the prerequisite is a perfect and
professional organizational structure. Working behind the scenes, it ensures major
performances go off smoothly. This applies to a special degree to company presentations, congresses, annual general meetings, and party conferences. An outstanding example is the Porsche Annual General Meeting, which, combined with
a big presentation in the Schleyer-Halle, celebrated its premiere in the PorscheArena. The hall duo functions in a variety of ways. Spotlight on for a concert in
the Schleyer-Halle and at the same time a first-class handball or ice-hockey match
in the Porsche-Arena.

Porsche Arena

Porsche Arena, a modern and well-designed smaller arena.

361

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

362

3
5

SOURCE

ST1

ST2

10

20

30

40

50

60

METERS

Materials Used

363

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH

Approximately 80,000m3
m floor level max. 6333m, whole arena: 6394m, height up to 20.5m,
12.5m clear height

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

2.46
2.33
2.58
1.62
1.15

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Wood.
Ceiling: Thin trapezoid metal with perforation.
Walls: Above the seats there is glazing around the hall.
Seats upholstered on seat not on back and perforated underneath seats (see photo).

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; no additional seats mounted.

Intelligent design of chairs if they need to be absorbent while not in use.


Porsche Arena.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

364

T30 in audience area


4

T30 [s]

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]


EDT in audience area
4

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

Rote Fabrik, Aktionshalle

365

Rote Fabrik, Aktionshalle


Zrich
Number of concerts per year: 80
Founded: 1980
Capacity: 1,200
Architect: original: Carl-Arnold Squin-Bronner (original)
Renovation 1994: Arbeitsgemeinschaft Rote Fabrik ARFA:
Claude Vaucher, Architekt SIA/SWB (Bro Z, Zrich).
Bob Gysin+Partner, Dbendorf.
Architekturgenossenschaft Bauplan, Zrich (Renovation).
Acoustician: Originally none; Bruno Gandet during the renovation 1994.
The Rote Fabrik (Red Factory, so named because of its red bricks) came into
use as a cultural center in 1980 as a result of widespread student protests in Zrich.
The buildings housing the Rote Fabrik were originally constructed as a silk
weaving mill between 1892 and 1896 by one of the periods most important architects in the field of factory construction, Carl-Arnold Squin-Bronner. With the
decline of the Swiss textile industry, the location came to be used as a telecommunications factory owned by Standard Telephon and Telegraph, a subsidiary of
International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT) starting in 1940. In 1974, the buildings were bought by the city of Zrich, the idea being at the time to tear the ageing
factory down and widen the freeways leading along Lake Zrich.
A public vote in 1977 demanded that the Rote Fabrik be converted into a cultural center; in spite of the vote being passed by the public, the project got lost
in bureaucracy. It was not until May 30th 1980 when a demonstration against a
planned credit of 61 million Swiss francs for the Zrich Opera House turned into
widespread demonstrations that the project was reopened. Squatters, left-wing
activists, and thousands of spectators returning from a Bob Marley concert combined to form one of the largest (and also most violent) demonstrations the city
had ever seen.
Under the impression of the public outrage following the demonstration, the
city council put the buildings under historical protection and made them available to the newly founded IG Rote Fabrik, the association still running the Rote
Fabrik today. Even though the location was never renovated under the guide of an
acoustician (except for minor improvements made by the Rote Fabriks own sound
engineers), the Aktionshalle (Action Hall), the main hall of three on the premises, quickly became a favored concert spot for many of the most important bands
in the 1980 and 1990s. Patty Smith, Nirvana, Mike Patton, the Melvins, and the
Young Gods, to name only a few, have valued the Rote Fabrik not only for staying true to its roots, but at the same time providing a high-quality environment for
playing gigs ranging from loud and bashing to quiet and fragile.

366

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Rote Fabrik is situated on the lake side with jetset neighbours. Photo: Patrick
Rimann.

The floor upstairs from the bar is not part of the concert room. Photo: Hans van
Veen.

Rote Fabrik, Aktionshalle

367

B1

B2

ST1
4
3

SOURCE

ST2
5

10

20

30

METERS

368

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH
Surface area of stage
Height of stage

5,000m3
30258.5
80m2
1.20m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

1.08
1.01
2.92
1.34
1.47
0.53
0.86
1.64
1.37

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Concrete with large areas of glazing. Suspended home-made reflectors.
Walls: Concrete. At each side of the front of the stage there are two big walls
20-cm thick with thin perforated plates on each side and mineral wool in between.
Upper side wall on one side: perforated gypsum board. Back wall: painted brick.

Stage Area
Floor: Stage risers.
Ceiling: Concrete.
Walls: Curtains.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; seating risers at the rear of the hall.

State of Hall When Measured

369

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

370

EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

Rote Fabrik Clubraum

371

Rote Fabrik Clubraum


Zrich
Number of events per year: 160
Founded: 1994
Capacity: 600
Architect: Original: Carl-Arnold Squin-Bronner (original)
Renovation 1994: Arbeitsgemeinschaft Rote Fabrik ARFA:
Claude Vaucher, Architekt SIA/SWB (Bro Z, Zrich).
Bob Gysin+Partner, Dbendorf.
Architekturgenossenschaft Bauplan, Zrich (Renovation).
Acoustician: Originally none; Bruno Gandet during the renovation 1994.

Clubraum is mostly used for smaller concerts, theater plays, and poetry slams,
Photo: Hans van Veen.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

372

And has as expensive an address as the bigger room next door. Photo: Jasmin
Phasuk.

1
ST1
SE

SOURCE
ST2

10

20

30

METERS

Materials Used

373

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH
Surface area of stage
Height of stage

1,500m3
21164.3
70m2
1m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Vinyl on concrete.
Ceiling: Wooden fiber on cavity.
Walls: Concrete, doors; back wall: painted wood fiber panels in some areas.

Stage Area
Floor: Stage risers.
Ceiling: Wooden fiber on cavity.
Walls: Concrete covered with curtains.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty.

0.96
0.79
5.70
1.42
1.21
0.39
0.88
3.51
2.76

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

374

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

State of Hall When Measured

375

EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

376

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Rockefeller
Oslo
Founded: 1986
Capacity: 1,350
Number of concerts per year: 120
Architect: Movenstierne and Eide
Acoustician: N/A
Rockefeller combines the advantages of both the concert hall and the club. The
capacity is 1,350 spectators, but the atmosphere is that of a friendly and intimate
club. Thanks to the two balconies and balustrades everyone in the audience is
assured a good view of the stage. Sound and lighting conditions are undoubtedly
the best in Oslo. The other needs of the audience are catered by eight bars.
Rockefeller has a location matched by few concert halls. The building previously housed Totggata Bad, one of Oslos oldest and most stylish public baths.
The building is from 1925. The premises were completely renovated in 1982,
and now house offices, restaurants, and pubs, with Rockefeller occupying the old
swimming hall itself. Rockefellers smaller venue, John DEE, is located one floor
down. The location provides two distinct advantages: a famous address and excellent communications. Public transport to all parts of the city can be found within a
few hundred meters.
Rockefeller has a high profile on the Norwegian music scene. This is due both
to the quality of the more than 10,000 bands that have appeared on their stage, and
to their willingness to develop new activities. In addition to concerts Rockefeller
has its own Rock Cinema, a fully equipped 35-mm cinema where the guests can
enjoy movies and drinks in an informal environment. Rockefeller is nonpolitical and nonracist, and has no fixed repertoire profile that prevents us from entering new projects or exploring new trends. In 1986 Rockefeller opened (capacity
1,000), founder Hans A. Lier. In 1990 the Rock Cinema opened and in 1991 additional bar areas opened (capacity now 1,200). In 1996 the upper gallery and roof
terrace opened (capacity now 1,350) and in 1997 Rockefeller opened the smaller
club, John DEE (capacity 400), one floor down. In 2006 Rockefeller took over
Sentrum Scene (capacity 1,800) across the street from Rockefeller. All three stages
are now run by the Rockefeller administration, including booking. The Flat
opened in 2007 as a separate area by the roof terrace (capacity 100) and in 2011
Rockefeller celebrated 25years as a concert hall on the 14th of March, with the
same leadership: Hans A. Lier, Roar Gulbrandsen and Frits Lveng.
Some of the over 10,000 acts that have appeared at Rockefeller include A-ha,
Beck, Blondie, Chaka Kahn, Chuck Berry, Crosby and Nash, Curtis Mayfield,
David Byrne, Elvis Costello, Eminem, Faith No More, Grace Jones, Iggy Pop,
Ike Turner, INXS, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jethro Tull, Kraftwerk, MC5, Morrissey,
Motrhead, Ozzy Osbourne, Pantera, Patti Smith, PJ Harvey, Public Enemy,
R.E.M, Radiohead, Rage Against The Machine, Ramones, Robert Plant, Run
D.M.C., Santana, Snoop Dogg, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, and ZZ Top.

Rockefeller

377

Rockefeller fits 1,350 audience members on three levels.

The acoustic ceiling was suspended with a fairly large cavity by coincidence;
they had to fit beneath some ventilation ducts.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

378

SOURCE

4
5
UBSE
B7

B8

10

UB3

B6

UB2

20

30

METERS

Materials Used

379

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH

5,300m3
27.619.69.8m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

0.95
0.85
5.38
1.12
1.36

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete. Audience podiums of wood on cavity.
Ceiling: 2/3 suspended mineral wool ceiling with 1m of cavity. 1/3 skylights.
Underneath balconies: gypsum board on cavity.
Walls: Concrete except on balconies: glazing with mineral wool behind and curtains in front. Back wall: painted brick.

Stage Area
Floor: Stage risers with floor of 8cm thick wooden slabs.
Ceiling: 2/3 suspended mineral wool ceiling with 1m of cavity.
Walls: Curtains.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

380

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

Rockhal

381

Rockhal
Luxembourg
Founded: 2005
Capacity: 6,500
Number of concerts per year: 5070. In all halls in the venue: 150
Architect: BENG Architecture
Acoustician: Dr. Albert Yaying Xu (XU-Acoustique)
Inaugurated in September 2005, the Rockhal is the most important concert
venue in Luxembourg. The growing interest in contemporary popular music
and the emergence of an increasingly professional local scene persuaded the
Luxembourg government to provide the country a worthwhile structure. The
Rockhal is under the patronage of and operates with the financial support of the
Ministre de la Culture. It is located in Esch/Alzette on the historical and former
industrial site Belval, which is now one of the countrys most important urban
development projects.
As its name implies, it was purposely built to host mainly rock and pop shows.
In addition to the Main Hall it also accomodates the Club, a smaller concert venue
with a capacity of 1,200 people. Also the Music and Resources center is an important part of the Rockhal. Its mission is to orient, inform, and assist amateur and
professional musicians by providing them with a range of logistical and cultural
tools and infrastructures. The Music and Resources center features a media library,
six rehearsal rooms, and a recording studio and organizes conferences, workshops,
and panels on a regular basis.
The Main Hall has standing room for 6,500 people and an all-seating capacity of 2,800. The flat base of the hall and the service grid covering the entire area
ensure total flexibility of layout. It has a free height of 17 and is accessible for
vehicles and machines up to 30tons.
Due to its high technical standard and the ideal location in the heart of Europe,
directly between Belgium, France, and Germany, the Rockhal also serves as a
rehearsal venue for big arena productions. Recently productions such as those of
Muse, Depeche Mode, Tokio Hotel, and The Chemical Brothers did tour rehearsals and launched their world tour with a show at the Rockhal. In 2011 it hosted
among others productions Prince, Mark Knopfler and Bob Dylan, Lenny Kravitz,
and Rammstein.

382

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

RockhalCentre de Music Amplifie is situated on Boulevard du Rock and


Roll maybe the hippest address of all venues in this book?

Rockhal is in many ways a rock temple. Seated concert.

Rockhal

383

4
1

5
ST1

5
3

10

20

30

40

50

60 METERS

SOURCE

ST2

384

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Geometrical data
Volume (m3)
LWH (m)

58,000
654221

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

1.47
1.3
0.95
3.03
1.73

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: concrete.
Ceiling: Suspended 3-cm thick mineral wool with 45-cm cavity behind.
Walls: Wood fiber panels on a 6-cm cavity with mineral wool. Trapezoid metal roof.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; a couple of vehicles in hall.

Rock temple.

State of Hall When Measured

385

T30 in audience area


4

T30 [s]

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

EDT in audience area


4

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

386

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Razzmatazz 1
Barcelona
Number of concerts per year: NA
Founded: NA
Capacity: 1,500
Architect: N/A
Acoustician: N/A

Dwarfs have very good views from the 1.4-m tall opening to the concrete balcony corridors on both sides of the former factory room. So do sitting audiences.

Razzmatazz sala 1. Archetype rock venue.

Razzmatazz 1

387

ST2
SOURCE

SE

ST1
2

B3

10

B1

20

30

METERS

388

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Geometrical data
Volume
Height, audience area
LBH

8,000m3
9.8m
332679.5

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Thin metal plate, nonperforated.
Walls: Concrete, curtains.

Stage Area
Floor: Wooden plates directly on concrete.
Ceiling: Thin metal plate, nonperforated.
Walls: Concrete, curtains.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; no dwarfs.

1.51
1.43
0.54
0.82
1.04
0.84
0.71
1.23
1.12

State of Hall When Measured

389

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

390

EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

1k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

Razzmatazz 2

Razzmatazz 2
Barcelona
Number of concerts per year: NA
Founded: NA
Capacity: 700
Architect: N/A
Acoustician: N/A

Razzmatazz 2. Typical underground rock club.

Razzmatazz sala 2.

391

392

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

2
SOURCE
SE
1

ST2
ST1

10

20

30

METERS

Materials Used

393

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH

2,600m3
31165.3

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

1.68
1.66
0.52
1.03
1.01
1.24
0.59
0.68
1.21

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Painted plaster.
Walls: Concrete, a few windows; end wall: a bit of perforated bricks at DJs location.

Stage Area
Floor: Wooden plates on risers.
Ceiling: As audience area.
Walls: As audience area, curtains.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

394

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

Octave band [Hz]

State of Hall When Measured

395

EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

1k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

396

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Sala Barcelona92/Sant Jordi Club


Barcelona
Number of concerts per year: 30
Founded: 1990
Capacity: 4,600
Architect: Arata Isozaki
Acoustician: N/A
Owner: Ajuntament de Barcelona (Barcelona City Hall)
The Sala Barcelona92, annexed to the Palau Sant Jordi and well known as a
space for organizing gala dinners and corporate events of different kinds, now has
a new line of services designed for music events.
A completely open space that has let the imagination of creative people run riot
and has fully satisfied event organizers.
An integral part of the Palau Sant Jordi, but at the same time totally independent,
the recent installations of a stage and sound and lighting equipment have provided
the venue with new technical services that facilitate corporate event programs.
With the name Sant Jordi Club, this medium-sized concert venue adds to the
current number of musical venues available in Barcelona. With the aim of offering
impeccable service, the Sant Jordi Club can count on upgraded and updated systems for concerts with a maximum capacity of 4,600 people.
The renovation of the Sant Jordi Club does not only feature structural improvements. With this new music venue concept, Palau Sant Jordi also commits itself to
providing a wider and more select choice to the general public, as far as refurbishment is concerned, as well as access, car parks, and VIP services.
The number of concerts per year is 30, bands such as Arctic Monkeys, Jamie
Cullum, Manowar, A-ha, Interpol, Alice Cooper, 30s to Mars, Motorhead,
Soulwax, and two Many DJs are some of the shows that Sant Jordi Club held.

Curtains can be lowered to separate the long hall visually into smaller sections.
The balcony is only on one side.

Sala Barcelona92/Sant Jordi Club

397

The Venue is situated in conjunction with Palau Sant Jordi on The Olympic
esplanade.

10

20

30

40

50

60

METERS

398

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Geometrical data
Volume
Height, audience area
Size

48,000m3
16m
9332m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

1.81
1.67
1.65
0.81
1.07

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Sports floor: wooden plates on joists and cavity.
Ceiling: Perforated thick plates with cavity behind.
Walls: Perforated thick plates with cavity behind. Lower walls are mainly hard
thick plates (doors etc.).
Seats are not upholstered.

Stage Area
Curtains surround the temporary staging arrangement.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; curtain lowered of the halls length from the rear wall opposite the stage.

State of Hall When Measured

399

T30 in audience area


4

T30 [s]

63

125

250

500

1k

Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


4

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500

1k

Octave band [Hz]

400

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Scala
London
Number of concerts per year: 150+
Founded: 1999
Capacity: Approximately 650
Architect: N/A
Acoustician: N/A
The Scala was originally built as a cinema to the designs of H. Courtney
Constantine, but construction was interrupted by the First World War and it spent
some time being used to manufacture aircraft parts, and as a labor exchange for
demobilized troops before opening in 1920 as the Kings Cross Cinema. The cinema changed hands and names several times through its life and also changed
focus, ranging from mainstream to art-house to adult film over 70years, as well as
spending a short time as a primatarium.
In the summer of 1972, the Scala (then known as the Kings Cross Cinema)
played host to the one and only UK concert by Iggy and The Stooges (who were
in London recording the album Raw Power.) All photographs later featured in the
Raw Power album sleeve (including the famous cover shot) were taken that night
during the show.
In the early 1990s Londons popular Scala Film Club showed the film, A
Clockwork Orange, without permission from Stanley Kubrick or Warner Brothers.
At Kubricks insistence, Warners sued and won. As a result, Scala was almost bankrupt and closed in 1993, however, the club was reopened in 1999. The cinema had
been refitted, with the lower seating area incorporating the new stage, DJ booth, and
dancefloor, and the upper seating area incorporated a second room and a DJ booth.
Scala now plays host to many eclectic club nights, including Ultimate Power,
Face Down, University of Dub, and Pure Temptation and has featured live music
acts including The Libertines, Rhianna, Jessie J, The Killers, Scissor Sisters,
Robert Plant Foo Fighters, Moby, HIM, Wheatus, Adam Ant, Sheryl Crow, Sara
Bareilles, Gavin DeGraw, Ray LaMontagne, Super Furry Animals, The Cutaway,
The Chemical Brothers, and Avril Lavigne, Sonic Youth, Plan B, Tiesto, Enslaved,
Gorgoroth, and Lacuna Coil.

Scala

401

Scala means stairs explains Jane as I carry my equipment the 200 stairs from
street to stage.

Many later-to-be world famous acts have played the Scala. Some of them return
years later.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

402

ST2
ST1
B6

SOURCE

3
2

SE

10

20

30

METERS

Materials Used

403

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH
Surface area of stage
Height of stage

2,000m3
18167.2
75m2
0.5m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

1.48
1.45
0.89
0.96
0.96
1.09
0.71
0.75
0.79

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Wood on joists.
Ceiling: Masonry.
Walls: Upper wall areas: concrete; lower wall surfaces: wood panels on 2-cm cavity.

Stage Area
Floor: Wood on cavity.
Ceiling: Masonry.
Walls: Curtains.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

404

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

Octave band [Hz]

State of Hall When Measured

405

EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

1k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

406

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Tunnel
Milano
Number of concerts per year: 120
Founded: 1995
Capacity: 400
Architect: N/A
Acoustician: N/A
Formerly a warehouse of the Central Railway station built in 1936, during
fascism, with its typical tunnel structure and barrel vault, the original industrial
building has been brought to a new life in 1995, when it turned into Tunnel, an
underground music sanctuary.
In its early years artists such as Skunk Anansie, The Cardigans, Uestlove (The
Roots), Calexico, and Pan Sonic performed on its stage. The club also hosted
some exciting secret shows (one of those featured a memorable live performance
by Soulwax).
Tunnel was one of the first clubs in Milan that bet on alternative electronic
sounds, inviting DJs like Gilles Peterson and Kid Loco. During the 1990s Tunnel
rapidly became the place to be for the whole alternative music scene and a landmark for Milanese clubbers.
In 2009, after several management shifts, Tunnel went back to its roots, with
a farsighted glance to the future: the new staff, headed by Diego Montinaro, has
thoroughly transformed the venue: completely renewed and refreshed, boosted by
an astonishingly powerful sound system, the club also features renewed interiors,
and a new lighting set.
Since then the club has developed a solid reputation as an interesting and
innovative underground club. Tunnel, with its 350-person capacity, is the small,
intimate place where some of the best DJs and bands all over the world feel at
home, bands like The Buzzcocks, The Black Angels, The Drums and Lanegan
and Campbell, artists like Jon Spencer, Damo Suzuki (ex Can), and Lisa Germano
with Phil Selway to name a few.
The club nights also have become really popular and the club has recently
invited guest DJs including Moodymann, Etienne de Crecy, Audio Bullys, and
Andrew Weatherhall. Far from being an empty, soulless case, Tunnel has many
faces, always keeping the same underground flavor.

Tunnel

407

A tunnel is a nightmare for any acoustician because of focusing effects. Tunnel


seems to do fine. Photo: Cecilia Giolli.

The porous light concrete and the absence of a back wall is believed to be
the reason why Tunnel does not seem to have significant bass problems. Photo:
Cecilia Giolli.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

408

4
2

SOURCE
ST1
ST2

3
5

10

20

30

METERS

Materials Used

409

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH

700m3
1991.25.4

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

0.94
0.76
5.69
0.82
0.94
0.4
0.89
2.36
0.95

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Tiles on concrete.
Ceiling: Concrete.
Walls: Light concrete; light concrete covered with a painted porous insulation product.

Stage Area
Floor: Tiles on concrete.
Ceiling: 5-cm foam product on concrete.
Walls: 5-cm foam product on concrete.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; a DJ setup on stage.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

410

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

Octave band [Hz]

State of Hall When Measured

411

EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

1k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

412

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Vega
Copenhagen
Number of concerts per year: 120. In both halls in the venue: 260
Founded: 1996, building: 1956
Capacity: 1,500
Architect: Vilhelm Lauritzen
Acoustician: Jordan/Jan Voetmann
VEGA is a regional venue, owned and operated by the foundation
Koncertvirksomhedens Fond, which was created with the sole purpose of presenting
concerts. Parts of the foundations service is based on municipal and state grants.
In 2010 approximately 300,000 people visited VEGA and the venue has been
named as the best concert arena in Europe by the international music magazine
Live. With two separate concert halls VEGA presents a broad program of music,
covering many different styles. The great hall, Store VEGA, has capacity for 1,500
guests, and the smaller hall, Lille VEGA, has space for 500 people.
Furthermore, the VEGA Lounge and Ideal Bar are at street level, and are both
there to create the perfect setting for a night out in Copenhagens music and nightlife. VEGA has a total of 12 bars serving the audience and musicians. VEGAs
central location in Copenhagen and the close proximity to southern Sweden, make
VEGA the obvious choice when indoor concerts by international artists are being
planned.
Annually around 250 concerts and events are held at VEGA, reflecting VEGAs
objective to find the right balance between new talent and more established names
in rock, pop, soul, hip hop, electronic, and world music as well as presenting the
audience with various club concepts. VEGAs own production of concerts and
events each year is represented by about 150 concerts, club events, showcases, and
special events.
VEGA has opened the doors to most of Scandinavias leading artists as well
as several international stars including Prince, David Bowie, Bjrk, Suede, Kylie
Minogue, Norah Jones, Moby, Foo Fighters, Blur, Fatboy Slim, DJ Shadow Girl
Talk, Erol Alkan, DJ Shadow, and others. VEGAs technical equipment, where particularly the sound system is of high quality, guarantee a perfect experience.
VEGA is known as one of the leading concert stages in Europe. This is not only
due to optimal venue audio and lighting conditions, but also because the building
is an exciting architectural gem, which provides the perfect setting for evocative
arrangements. The original 1950s design gives the building a unique atmosphere,
and VEGAs decor with dark wood paneling, mahogany floors, friezes, and the
many original details of railings, balustrades, and lamps in typical Scandinavian
style are the hallmarks of VEGA.
The building was originally named The Peoples House and was the stronghold
of the Danish trade union movement. It was built in 1956 and designed by the
famous Danish architect Vilhelm Lauritzen, who is also known for other period
building works such as Broadcasting House and the award-winning old terminal

Vega

413

at Copenhagen Airport. Since the unions pulled out, The Peoples House was
deserted for many years and was beginning to decay. But after an extensive restoration in 1996 the building reopened as VEGAHouse of Music. The property is
one of the youngest listed buildings in Denmark.
Most people know VEGA for concerts and VEGAs Night Club, but the atmospheric halls and labyrinthine hallways contain a wealth of other options. In
addition to the two halls, Store and Lille VEGA, VEGA has many other rooms
that each have a distinctive character and offer the opportunity to house smalland medium-sized companies. The beautiful premises can also provide a framework for, for example, press conferences, company parties, general meetings,
and cultural events.
Headed by a board of seven members, VEGA has approximately 180 employees, most of whom are paid by the hour. In its daily operation and administration
VEGA employs about 35 full-time employees.

Wooden panels in excess including the floor and a porous absorber with a 3-m
cavity in the ceiling ensure control of the T30 including the crucial 125Hz octave
band. And it leaves a nice airy sound not too reverberant once the audience is in
place.

414

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Vega is without doubt the best established Danish rock venue of its size. The
build-up of T30 below 100Hz only becomes perceivable far back on the stage
where one can feel a lack of early support due to the huge stage tower.

Vega

415

UB3

ST2
UBSE

B1

SOURCE

ST1

10

20

30

METERS

416

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH

6,000m3
381910.5

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

1.2
0.97
4.97
1.34
0.98
0.51
0.88
3.83
1.92

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Concrete with large areas of glazing. Suspended home-made reflectors.
Walls: Concrete. At each side of the front of the stage there are two big walls
20-cm thick with thin perforated plates on each side and mineral wool in between.
Upper side wall on one side: perforated gypsum board. Back wall: painted brick.

Stage Area
Floor: Stage risers.
Ceiling: Concrete.
Walls: Curtains.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; seating risers at the rear of the hall.

State of Hall When Measured

417

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

Octave band [Hz]

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

418

EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

1k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

Wembley Arena

419

Wembley Arena
London
Number of concerts per year: 50
Built: 1934; refurbished: 2006
Capacity: 12,000
Architect: Owen Williams
Acoustician: N/A
Wembley Arena, by many called the the UKs flagship live music venue, first
opened its doors in 1934 as the Empire Pool and Sports Arena. At that time the
building was considered a great innovation being one of the only buildings of
its size with such a vast roof span and having no supporting columns anywhere
within the auditorium, thus giving a full view to all guests. It opened as a multipurpose venue, hosting public swimming sessions as well as international swimming competitions, boxing, and a variety of sporting events. In 1948 it was the
venue for the swimming events of the Olympic Games and went on to host numerous sporting and musical events. The famous Wembley lion was adopted by the
home ice hockey team as their name (The Wembley Lions), as did the neighboring
speedway team at the Stadium next door.
72years and a 35 million refurbishment later, the venue reopened its doors
in April 2006 with a twenty first-century look and has become synonymous with
live music, welcoming scores of sell-out shows and one-off UK tour dates from
major recording artists each year. Wembley Arena has played host to some of the
greatest music acts of all time, but is also well known as a sports and entertainment venue. Playing host to ice skating shows such as Disney on Ice, Holiday on
Ice, and Dancing on Ice, family events such as CBeebies and Thomas the Tank
Engine and even becoming a luxury equestrian center for the pampered horses of
the Spanish Riding School and Masters Snooker it retains its historic links with
Wembley following its move from the Conference Centre in 2007.
The Arena continues to play host to the greatest global recording artists, including Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, and the Rolling Stones as well as popular sports
personalities and most enchanting childrens shows and is looking forward to celebrating many more great years of entertainment.
The Arenas first solo rock band concert was the Monkees in 1967 and also played
host to the only time the Beatles and the Rolling Stones appeared on the same bill,
at the NME Poll winners Party in 1964. When the venue was known as Empire
Pool, it hosted the annual New Musical Express Poll Winners concert during the
early 1960s. Audiences of 10,000 viewed acts including the Beatles (who performed
there three times), Cliff Richard and The Shadows, Joe Brown and the Bruvvers,
The Rolling Stones, The Who, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich, and many
others, hosted by Jimmy Savile and Pete Murray. The individual performances were
then finished by a famous personality joining the respective performer on stage and

420

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

presenting them their award. The Beatles were presented one of their awards by
actor Roger Moore and Joe Brown was joined on stage by Roy Orbison, to present
him his. These were filmed and recorded and later broadcast on television.
A notable attendance record was set in the early 1970s, by David Cassidy, in
his first tour of Great Britain in 1973, when he sold out six performances in one
weekend. In 1978, Electric Light Orchestra sold out eight straight concerts (a
record at the time) during their Out of the Blue Tour. The first of these shows was
recorded, televised, and later released as a CD/DVD. ABBA also played six soldout concerts, in one week in 1979 and one song from these concerts, The Way
Old Friends Do, is on their album, Super Trouper.
In April 1994, Barbra Streisand began her BarbraThe Concert Tour, with
four performances at the arena. They marked her first performances in the United
Kingdom after 28years and were the only shows outside of the United States. The
opening song on the first night, As If We Never Said Goodbye, was recorded
and transmitted on BBC TVs Top of the Pops. Christina Aguilera performed
three shows at the arena during her Stripped world tour on 23 and 5 November
2003. They were filmed and later released as a DVD, titled Stripped Live in the
U.K. Beyonc performed, on two consecutive nights, at the arena during her
Dangerously in Love Tour on November 1011, 2003. Her show on the 10th was
filmed and later released as a DVD, titled Beyonc: Live at Wembley.
Pop band Busted sold out the arena a record 11 times in one year, in 2004 P!nk
performed two shows at the arena during her Im Not Dead Tour in October and
December, 2006. They were filmed and later released as a DVD, titled Pink: Live
from Wembley Arena. Pearl Jam holds the attendance record for one show, with
12,470 fans at their 2007 gig [1].
Cliff Richard holds the record for the most headline shows by one artist, having
played his 61st concert at the arena in October 2009. Tina Turner is the female artist with the most shows at Wembley, with 26 and with 7 at Wembley Stadium.

Wembley Arena

421

Legendary. Curtains in the ceiling lower the RT only at high frequencies. Same
constellation at measurement.

ST2

SOURCE
5

ST1

10

20

30

40

50

60

METERS

422

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH

approximately 150,000m3
967024m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

2.56
2.41
3.47
2.1
1.64

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Perforated plate probably with some cavity behind.
Walls: Beneath the lower balcony: concrete and doors. At both end walls and on
walls over the upper balconies: perforated thin plate with 510-cm porous absorption behind.
Seats are not upholstered.

State of Hall When Measured


Additional seats mounted on the entity of the floor. Curtains in ceiling as in photo
but also on the sides 2/3 down from stage.

State of Hall When Measured

423

Wembley Arena. venues, it seems, do get better with age. (The Times).

The arena looks greatit looks fantasticand comfy seats too!! (Music Week).

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

424

T30 in audience area


8

T30 [s]

63

125

250

500

1k

Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


8

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500

1k

Octave band [Hz]

Werk

Werk
Mnchen
Number of concerts per year: N/A
Capacity: 1,500
Founded: N/A
Architect: N/A
Acoustician: N/A

Due to noise issues with neighbors the future of the club is uncertain.

425

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

426

ST2
SOURCE

ST1

4
5
3
2

SE

10

20

30

METERS

Materials Used

427

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH

4,000m3
40205m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

1.39
1.46
0.15
0.96
1.04
0.8
0.7
0.77
1.07

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Concrete with large areas of glazing. Suspended home-made reflectors.
Walls: Concrete. At each side of the front of the stage there are two big walls
20-cm thick with thin perforated plates on each side and mineral wool in between.
Upper side wall on one side: perforated gypsum board. Back wall: painted brick.

Stage Area
Floor: Stage risers.
Ceiling: Concrete.
Walls: Curtains.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; seating risers at the rear of the hall.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

428

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

Octave band [Hz]

State of Hall When Measured

429

EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

1k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

430

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Zeche
Bochum
Number of concerts per year: 150
Founded: 1981
Capacity: 1,100
Architect: N/A
Acoustician: N/A
Die Zeche Bochum ist ein Veranstaltungsmultiplex mit Diskothek in Bochum.
Sie wurde im November 1981 erffnet und war mit Vorreiter fr Konzepte der
Sozio-Kulturellen Zentren. Ihre Rumlichkeiten mit Veranstaltung-, Verzehrund Tanzbereichen befinden sich in der ehemaligen Schlosserei der Zeche Prinz
Regent in Bochum-Weitmar.
Anfnglich wurden Veranstaltungen in der Zeche Bochum teilweise bei kultureller Anerkennung ffentlich mitgefrdert, jedoch musste sie sich kommerziell selbst von Beginn an von allein tragen und war ein Vorreiter fr weitere
Musikklubs in Deutschland. Die Musikrichtung war zunchst dem Underground
verpflichtet, spter verlegte man sich auf Pop und Mainstream. Die Zeche Bochum
war von Anfang an regelmiger Veranstaltungsort fr Konzerte. Zum Interieur
zhlt neben der Veranstaltungshalle mit Empore, eine Kneipe, ein Restaurant und
ein kleiner Veranstaltungsraum.

Zeche is one of Germanys most legendary clubs of this size.

Zeche

431

Balcony and staircase levels make it possible for everybody to find a spot with
good visibility.

B1
SE
B2

2
1

SOURCE

10

20

30

METERS

432

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH

2,700m3
26.711.97.210.3m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

1.13
1.17
0.45
1.13
1.23
0.74
0.78
0.95
1.7

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Wood direct on concrete.
Ceiling: Thin plate on cavity filled with mineral wool.
Walls: Concrete with areas of windows covered with wooden plate. Curtain on
upper 2m.

Stage Area
Floor: Modular stage risers.
Ceiling: Thin plate on cavity filled with mineral wool.
Walls: Curtains.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; risers on stage.

State of Hall When Measured

433

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

Octave band [Hz]

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

434

EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

1k

2k

4k

1k

2k

4k

Octave band [Hz]

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

Zeche Carl Kaue

435

Zeche Carl Kaue


Essen
Number of concerts per year: 60
Founded: 1970
Capacity: 600 (250 seated)
Architect: N/A
Acoustician: N/A
Situated in the north of Essen, Zeche Carl has a long and interesting history.
Originally the site of a gas coal mine that opened in 1861, it boasts one of the oldest
(and best preserved) Malakov Towers in the region. For a long time, Zeche Carl has
been a prototype of the structural change witnessed by the entire Ruhr area. The
mine closed in 1970, and the site was converted into a cultural center that same decade by an initiative made up of local citizens, youth groups, and the local Protestant
congregation. Over the years, and with the backing of agencies including the city of
Essen, the center grew to become one of the most significant sociocultural institutions in Germany. Activities were forced to a temporary halt when the organization
behind the center went bankrupt, but a new association was found to run it and in the
autumn of 2009 the Zeche Carl casino building reopened with a revised concept to
continue its work as an intergenerational, cross-nationality forum for the citizens of
Essen, and as a nationally influential cultural center for the entire urban area and the
region as a whole. The events that take place at Zeche Carl include cabaret, concerts,
parties, courses, workshops, readings, exhibitions, and much more, and social institutions and self-help groups also use it as their base.

Zeche Carl. Very typical T30 values across frequency.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

436

UB4
1

2
3
ST1

ST2
SOURCE

10

20

30

METERS

Materials Used

437

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH

Approximately 1,000m3
Approximately 18125

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k
Stage area
EDT1252k
D50,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Tiles on concrete.
Ceiling: Concrete 20% of which is covered with felt 1m from ceiling.
Walls: Concrete.

Stage Area
Floor: Wood on joists.
Ceiling: Suspended mineral wool.
Walls: Backdrop at a 20-cm distance from rear wall.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty; a few chairs etc. on the floor. No measurement on balcony.

0.9
0.72
5.55
1.97
1.54
0.48
0.89
2.87
2.6

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

438

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

State of Hall When Measured

439

EDT on stage
2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

D50 on stage
1

D50 []

0.75

0.5

0.25

63

125

250

500

1k

Octave band [Hz]

440

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Znith ParisLa Villette


Paris
Number of concerts per year: Around 110
Number of total events per year: Around 150
Founded: 1984
Capacity: 6,238
Architect: Philippe Chaix et Jean Paul Morel
Acoustician: N/A
In 1981, Jack Lang opened the doors of the ministry of culture to rock and also
to pop music.
The politicians of the ministry together with professionals and artists, introduced the richness of todays music. The ZENITH burst forth from an idea, like
all good ideas: conceiving a special room adapted for these types of music. It
was brought into being with a theatrical professional, Daniel Colling (assisted by
Daniel Keravec) and two architects, Philippe Chaix and Jean Paul Morel. They
invented the concept of the ZENITH.
The public was not mistaken and immediately shaped the place for music.
Recognized from the beginning as a temporary prototype, the ZENITH of Paris,
situated on the Parc de la Villette, is still as lively 27years later as when it
first opened. Above all, it is because the concept of the ZENITH is simple and
responds to true needs that it was an immediate success. Popular music does not
necessarily rhyme with delicacy and the ephemeral. It must satisfy the public who
wish, as is normal, ro see well, to hear well, to be well seated, and welcomed, and
also to count on theatrical professionals: spectacles that are more and more sophisticated, but also very different from each other. There cannot be stationary rooms
for fixed heavy scenic equipment. Rapport with the stage, the acoustic quality, and
the movement of a great number of spectators must all be taken into account.
An intriguing thought in the trade has permitted the definition of criteria that
guarantee functional usage closer to the demands of the artists and the public:
these criteria were the object of a unique contract of its type. The Zenith of Paris
has been the prototype for 17 other Zeniths in France.

Znith ParisLa Villette

441

Every other wall panel (blue) behind the audience is reflective; the others are
absorptive. All have a thin steel plate on the back. There is nothing in the tent that
reflects sound below some 150Hz.

Zenith is a concept that has proven its success all over France. The size is
excellent; there is a great proximity between the performer and even the farthest
away audience members. Photo Jean-Luc Bouchard.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

442

ST1

ST2
SOURCE

10

20

30

40

50

60

METERS

Materials Used

443

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH

Inside 90,000m3
Inside 707019

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

1.8
1.68
0.19
0.82
1.07

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Inner tent cover with cylinders (d =~15cm) of foam stretched across
60cm.
Walls: Inner walls are panels of perforated thin metal but every second one is
blinded. There is a 7-cm cavity with mineral wool and a back plate of thin metal.
Behind are the hallways before the outer tent.

Stage Area
Floor: Stage risers.
Ceiling: As audience area.
Walls: None. Backdrop behind stage.
Seats: Plastic not upholstered.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty as on upper photo; instruments on stage.

444

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

As the Zenith de Paris was opened only as a temporary venue unconventional


but quite efficient solutions are found in every corner. Here foam cylinders on
wires in the ceiling.

Zenith de Paris is simply a tent. Photo Jean-Luc Bouchard.

State of Hall When Measured

445

T30 in audience area


2

T30 [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


2

EDT [s]

1.5

0.5

63

125

250

500

Octave band [Hz]

1k

446

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Zenith Strasbourg
Strasbourg
Number of concerts per year: 100. Total number of events: 120
Founded: 2008
Capacity: 12,000
Architect: Massimiliano Fuksas
Acoustician: Altia
A missing link in the large scale of event halls existed in the Strasbourg area,
and the Znith Strasbourg became a stopping-place shaped for large musical
shows and international artists. The quality of the room, its scenic and acoustic
devices, and its dimensions were thus perfectly adapted particularly to AngloSaxon artists, who made European Strasbourg a stop on their international tours.
Local and regional producers have also, from the beginning, held the idea of
constructing such equipment, offering the public a choice of hospitable conditions,
visibility, acoustical comfort and irreproachable security.
The Znith can accommodate nearly 12,079 spectators. Above all designed to
receive a variety of shows and live music, the equipment equally permits holding
diverse demonstrations duch as conventions and large sporting events.
Graced with respect tor the environment, construction faithful to the Zenith
concept (quality, modularity, functionality) favors durable, easily recyclable,
energy-saving materials.
The Starsbourg Zenith is managed as a function of a public service delegation,
by the SNC ZENITH DE STRASBOURG, an affiliate of VEGA.

Zenith Strasbourg was in 2011 the newest of all the French Zeniths.

Zenith Strasbourg

447

To avoid sound focusing effects because of the walls concave curvature special
diffusive patterns have been applied on wall areas.

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

448

`` `
`
`

`` `
`

`
`

`` `
`
`

`` `
`
`

ST2

ST1

SOURCE

10

20

30

40

50

60

METERS

Materials Used

449

Geometrical data
Volume
LWH

Approximately 85,000m3
606024m

Acoustical data
Audience area
T30,1252k
EDT1252k
C80,1252k
BR63 versus 0.51k
BR125 versus 0.51k

Materials Used
Audience Area
Floor: Concrete.
Ceiling: Thin trapezoid metal plate.
Walls: 5-cm thick mineral wool direct on concrete; rear wall is diffusive plates.

State of Hall When Measured


Empty as in photo; no additional chairs on floor.

Strasbourg Zenith.

2.07
1.92
0.53
1.61
1.28

450

7 Gallery of Halls that Present Pop and Rock Music Concerts

Strasbourg Zenith: Le grill.

State of Hall When Measured

451

T30 in audience area


4

T30 [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

2k

4k

2k

4k

EDT in audience area


4

EDT [s]

63

125

250

500
1k
Octave band [Hz]

Appendix A

Measurements of the 55 Venues Presented


in the Gallery in Chapter 7

The aim of this appendix is to document the acoustic behavior of the 55 venues
around Europe that were investigated in 2010 and presented in Chap. 7, in terms
of what acoustic conditions are achievable and significant differences among the
venues. There are no set subjective responses to these halls therefore statistically
proven recommendations cannot be made. The venues varied from small clubs
to large arenas with volumes up to 600,000m3. For pop and rock venues with a
volume above 7,000m3 there exists no scientific investigation of suitable reverberation times or other parameters. Of the 55 surveyed halls, 31 are larger than
7,000m3. Figure5.7 in this book with recommended reverberation time as a function of bigger volumes originates indeed from the collection of achievable reverberation times in this survey. The results were presented in the scientific paper,
ASurvey of Reverberation Times in 50 European Venues Presenting Pop and
Rock Concerts, Forum Acusticum, 2011, Aalborg, Denmark (Adelman-Larsen and
Dammerud 2011). Acoustical and geometrical data of the 55 venues are listed in
Appendix A, B and C.
Acoustic conditions using the venues sound system (those that had one) have
not been investigated, in as much as the aim has been to isolate the acoustic
responses of the rooms which, as seen, in many cases alone lead to challenging
conditions for musicians and sound engineers. A set of objective measures is used
to describe the acoustic qualities of the venues. The selection of measures is based
on considerations of which characteristics appear relevant. Room acoustic impulse
responses were measured using Dirac software installed on a laptop employing a
linear sinus sweep of either 5- or 21-s length and a GRAS omnidirectional microphone. The small venues were measured with a Norsonic dodecahedron and a subwoofer, and the larger halls were measured with a d&b PA system consisting of
two midhigh frequency speakers (50 vertical and 80 horizontal coverage angle)
and two subs, all connected to the same dedicated d&bamp.
Impulse responses of between 5 and 10 relevant microphone positions were
recorded in all venues using one constant loudspeaker position approximately at
the center of the stage area. In the architectural drawings for each venue presented

N. W. Adelman-Larsen, Rock and Pop Venues, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-45236-9,


Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

453

40.3
32
52
24
15
30
33
21
27
50
25
40
22.9
37
105
105
100
31.5
21.9
115
60
58
115
43
35
32
115

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27

8500
8500
15000
2800
1000
2800
7000
630
2800
10000
1500
9000
2400
6000
110000
150000
600000
4200
1200
120000
50000
20000
230000
8000
5000
2600
250000

Venue V

18.5
24
30
19
16
19
19
11
13.5
45
12
18.9
15.9
23
62
70
100
24.5
17.8
100
43
36
80
23
14
15
81

11.7
12
9.7
6.3
4
4.5
10.2
2.7
7.5
13
4.8
13.4
7.3
7
29
26
85
5.4
3.1
25
20
14.4
30
8.7
6
5.6
32

25
21
40
19
17
20
22
21
17
40
19
27
13
27
80
80
75
21
17
80
40
35
90
31
28
23
85

rmax

0.47
0.57
0.24
0.33
0.24
0.23
0.46
0.13
0.44
0.33
0.25
0.5
0.56
0.26
0.36
0.33
1.13
0.26
0.18
0.31
0.5
0.41
0.33
0.28
0.21
0.24
0.38

8
6.4
12
5.6
4.6
6
6.8
6.4
4.6
12
5.6
8.6
2.3
8.6
18.1
18.1
17.5
6.4
4.6
18.1
12
10.9
19.1
9.8
8.9
7.2
18.6

H/rmax Gdmin
1.41
1.39
1.47
0.97
0.75
0.89
0.5
1.09
0.94
1.27
0.72
1.09
0.73
0.97
4.15
2.46
3.71
1.48
0.99
2.48
1.17
2.35
2.81
1.17
1.15
0.81
2.47

1.41
1.36
1.35
0.97
0.64
0.81
0.56
0.96
0.86
1.18
0.67
0.93
0.75
0.91
4.28
2.56
3.22
1.52
1.04
2.06
1.11
2.12
2.92
1.15
1.13
0.78
2.22

1
0.98
0.92
0.99
0.85
0.9
1.11
0.88
0.92
0.93
0.93
0.85
1.02
0.95
1.03
1.04
0.87
1.03
1.05
0.83
0.95
0.9
1.04
0.98
0.98
0.96
0.9

1.23
1.78
0.89
0.95
0.92
0.99
0.95
1.13
1.21
1.11
1.8
1.27
1.35
1.34
0.91
1.05
1.67
0.75
0.6
1.1
0.95
1.03
0.99
0.96
1.33
0.78
1.34

1.8
1.3
0.2
2.7
3.8
1.6
11.3
10.3
2.2
0
0.8
1.1
0.5
0.8
1.1
5.9
9.4
5.3
6
4.9
7.7
2.5
6.8
0.3
2
0.6
8.2

9.8
7.7
11.8
8.3
8.4
7.6
4.4
16.7
6.8
12.1
6.4
7.5
1.8
7.8
16.9
12.1
8.1
11.7
10.6
13.1
4.3
13.4
12.3
10.1
10.9
7.9
10.4

4.4
4.6
5.8
3.1
2.1
3.2
6.7
1.4
3.1
5.1
2.7
5.2
3.3
4.5
9.3
14.1
23.4
3.1
2
12.6
11.8
5.3
16.3
4.7
3.8
3.2
18.3

(continued)

18
22
14
16
12
16
31
7
18
13
14
19
25
17
12
18
31
15
12
16
29
15
18
15
13
14
21

T30,1252k EDT,1252k EDT/T30,1252k BR,1252k Gl,1252k GdminGl,1252k Dc,1252k Dc/rmax,1252k

TableA.1Acoustical and geometrical properties of 55 European venues used for pop and rock concerts

454
Appendix A: Measurements of the 55 Venues Presented in the Gallery in Chapter 7

Venue
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55

V
500000
280000
400000
7500
13000
400000
48000
6000
50000
8000
2600
5300
58000
5000
1500
2000
270000
150000
700
150000
150000
5000
2700
1000
90000
130000
5800
3000

L
150
100
125
32
50
110
93
21.5
NaN
33
31
27.6
65
29
21
18
NaN
73
19
NaN
NaN
29
26.7
18
70
100
34

TableA.1(Continued)

B
110
95
115
22
20
105
32
19
NaN
26
16
19.6
42
24
16
16
NaN
110
10
NaN
NaN
24
11.9
12
70
70
17

H
33
35
43
11
14.3
42
16
13
NaN
8.5
5.3
9.8
21
8.5
4.3
7.2
NaN
25
3
20.5
NaN
8.5
9
5
19
24
10.1

rmax
100
70
85
24
40
88
70
15
NaN
25
23
20
46
20
15
13
NaN
60
14
NaN
NaN
20
19
12
50
70
23

H/rmax
0.33
0.5
0.51
0.46
0.36
0.48
0.23
0.87
NaN
0.34
0.23
0.49
0.46
0.42
0.29
0.55
NaN
0.42
0.21
NaN
NaN
0.42
0.47
0.42
0.38
0.34
0.44

Gdmin
20
16.9
18.6
7.6
12
18.9
16.9
3.5
NaN
8
7.2
6
13.3
6
3.5
2.3
NaN
15.6
2.9
NaN
NaN
6
5.6
1.6
14
16.9
7.2

T30,1252k
2.66
2.44
2.17
1.07
1.23
4.98
1.81
1.74
2.46
1.51
1.68
0.95
1.47
1.08
0.96
1.48
2.43
1.61
0.94
3.53
2.56
1.39
1.13
0.9
1.8
2.07
1.2
0.64

EDT,1252k
2.49
2.03
1.83
0.88
1.1
4.4
1.67
1.66
2.33
1.43
1.66
0.85
1.3
1.01
0.79
1.45
2.43
1.66
0.76
3.36
2.41
1.46
1.17
0.72
1.68
1.92
0.97

EDT/T30,1252k
0.93
0.83
0.85
0.82
0.9
0.88
0.92
0.96
0.95
0.94
0.99
0.9
0.88
0.94
0.82
0.98
1
1.03
0.81
0.95
0.94
1.05
1.04
0.79
0.94
0.93
0.81

BR,1252k
1.69
1.19
1.38
1.01
1.47
1.03
1.07
0.74
1.15
1.04
1.01
1.36
1.73
1.47
1.21
0.96
1.11
1.23
0.94
1.11
1.64
1.04
1.23
1.54
1.07
1.28
0.98

Gl,1252k
10.8
8.7
11.2
0.4
1.6
5.7
3.4
5.2
1.2
2.8
8.6
0.7
6.4
1
5.2
8.6
8.6
8.8
8.3
3.5
5.9
4
4.4
5.9
6.2
6.8
1.9

GdminGl,1252k
9.2
8.2
7.3
7.2
10.4
13.2
13.5
8.7
NaN
10.7
15.9
5.3
6.8
7
8.8
10.9
NaN
6.7
11.2
NaN
NaN
10
10
7.5
7.8
10.1
9.1

Dc,1252k
25.1
19.4
24.6
4.8
5.9
16.3
9.3
3.4
8.1
4.2
2.2
4.3
11.5
3.9
2.3
2.1
19
16.3
1.6
11.8
14
3.4
2.8
1.9
12.8
14.4
4

Dc/rmax,1252k
25
28
29
20
15
19
13
22
NaN
17
10
22
25
20
15
16
NaN
27
11
NaN
NaN
17
15
16
26
21
17

Appendix A: Measurements of the 55 Venues Presented in the Gallery in Chapter 7


455

456

Appendix A: Measurements of the 55 Venues Presented in the Gallery in Chapter 7

in the gallery, ST1 and ST2 are the microphone positions on stage, S denotes the
Source position while the measurement point denoted SE stands for sound engineer position. B denotes Balcony and UB Under Balcony. All venues were
measured without audience but some had temporary chairs set up on the floor area
(affecting, for example, measured T at higher frequencies). In some of the large
arenas there was no stage set up on the date of the measurement. None of the room
responses covered in this work was measured on stage. Although not in all cases
fully in compliance with the ISO standard ISO 33821:2009, the results are indeed
trustworthy. All measured responses were checked during the measuring procedures. In the diagrams of T30, EDT and D50 presented in the gallery for each
venue the grey areas denote the minimum and maximum values.

Objective Measures
The priority for this study was to investigate objective measures that assess the
acoustic conditions imposed by the room itself, not including a sound system.
Such measures can evidently be a background for the consideration of the
improvement of the venues acoustics on the basis of the already found conclusions in Chap.5. Venues with a high reverberation time at midhi frequencies can
result in acceptable conditions if a suitable PA system design and precise installation are applied. The following geometric measures were obtained: volume and
length, width and height of the venues, denoted as V, L, W, and H. In addition, the
maximum distance from the position of the main sound system to a listener within
the audience was measured, denoted here as rmax. The ratio H/rmax was also calculated, because low venues with listeners close to (respectively, far from) the sound
system often result in poor conditions.
The following acoustic measures were obtained (1252,000Hz): reverberation time T, early decay time EDT, bass ratio BR (T30,125Hz/T30,5001,000Hz), EDT/T30,
Dc/rmax, Glate (Gl), and Gd,min Glate. Dc is the critical distance and was estimated
using Eq.(A.1). Glate is the late part of the acoustic measure G (strength) and represents the level of reverberant sound arriving after 80ms relative to the direct
sound. Glate was estimated using Eq.(A.2) based on Barrons revised theory
(Barron and Lee 1988), and a sourcereceiver distance r of 15m. As seen below,
Glate is affected by T and V. This measure has been found relevant for classical
concert hall stages (Dammerud 2009). Gd,min is the free-field direct sound level
from a point source at the distance rmax.
 
Dc = 0.057 V T ,
(A.1)

Gl = 10 log10


31200 T 0.04r / T 1.11/ T
e
e
,
V

(A.2)

Appendix A: Measurements of the 55 Venues Presented in the Gallery in Chapter 7

457

Dc/rmax and Gd,minGlate are proposed for studying to what degree the reverberant
sound may take dominance over the direct sound or on the contrary be inaudible.
These measures ignore early reflections.
The smaller halls in this survey are all dedicated to pop and rock, whereas the
larger venues are multifunctional and present famous musical acts as well as musicals, sports games, exhibitions, and so on. All halls were chosen from the same
criterion: a large number of pop and rock concerts were being held there during
the fall of 2010. Of the 55 venues 24 (44%) are regarded as small with a hall volume within 7,000m3, and 31 (56%) are regarded as large with the largest volume
being 600,000m3.

Results
FigureA.1 shows the results for T30 versus hall volume for the small and large venues, respectively. In Fig.A.1a the results for three Danish venues also investigated
for a specific purpose in Adelman-Larsen and Dammerud (2011) are indicated with
shaded diamonds. The dashed lines in Fig.A.1 indicate combinations of T30 and V
values that result in theoretical values of Glate being equal to 3, 4, and 10dB. Of
the small venues, 54% are within the range of estimated Glate of the three Danish
venues. For the large venues, estimated values of Glate are below 3dB for 55% of
the venues.
FigureA.2 shows the results for the calculated bass ratio BR. The results for the
small and large venues are given as circles and squares, respectively. The range of
BR for the three Danish venues is given as dashed lines in Figs.A.3, A.4, A.5, A.6.
From Fig.A.2 we see that a significant portion (47%) of the venues has higher
values of BR compared to the three Danish venues. There is no dominance of
either small or large venues for high values of BR. Four venues show low values of
BR. These are all small venues.
FigureA.3 shows the results for EDT/T30. The resulting values are generally
below 1 but there is no clear difference in the results for the small and large venues. The results for the three Danish venues are among the lowest values.
FiguresA.4 and A.5 show the results for Dc/rmax and Gd,minGlate, respectively.
The results are similar for these two measures, but for Dc/rmax fewer venues have
values below and more venues with values above the range for the three Danish
venues. Low values of these two measures will indicate dominance of late reverberant sound within a larger portion of the audience area. Again there is no clear
difference between small and large venues, except the small venues show the highest values for Gd,minGlate.
FigureA.6 shows the results for H/rmax. Results within the range of the earliermentioned three Danish venues are shown in 27 (49%) venues. The lowest values
are dominated by small venues.
Regarding correlations between the objective measures, measured T30 is highly
correlated with the geometrical measures V, W, L, and H (r =0.750.77) and

458

Appendix A: Measurements of the 55 Venues Presented in the Gallery in Chapter 7

Fig.A.1Measured
reverberation time (T30) as a
function of volume (V) of a
small and b large venues

(a)

(b)

Fig.A.2Calculated BR for
the 55 venues

Appendix A: Measurements of the 55 Venues Presented in the Gallery in Chapter 7


Fig.A.3Calculated EDT/T30
for the 55 venues

Fig.A.4Estimated Dc/rmax
for the 55 venues

Fig.A.5Estimated Gd,min
Glate for the 55 venues

459

460

Appendix A: Measurements of the 55 Venues Presented in the Gallery in Chapter 7

Fig. A.6Calculated H/rmax


for the 55 venues

EDT (r =0.99). Gd,minGlate is not highly correlated with any of the other objective measures apart from T30 and EDT (r=0.47 to 0.49. Gl and Gd,minGlate are
not highly correlated (r=0.35), whereas Dc/rmax and Gd,minGlate are moderately
correlated (r=0.68). H/rmax is not highly correlated with any of the acoustic measures apart from H (r=0.60). All correlations were significant at the 1% level.

Discussion and Conclusions


For all the objective measures there are significant variations for the venues studied. The variations within the three Danish venues are clearly smaller compared
to the 55 venues. The low correlations between the acoustic measures suggest that
none of them are clearly redundant, although Gd,minGlate and Dc/rmax show similar
but not highly correlated results.
A significant portion of the large venues shows low values of Glate, but this may
need to be seen in relation to direct sound levels assessed by Dc/rmax and Gd,min
Glate. Even a low level of Glate is likely to result in unsuitable conditions if the
direct sound levels are low (for the large venues).
One 50,000m3 hall with a T30 of only 1.3s was reported acoustically too dead
by sound engineers, a lack of the feeling of being enveloped in sound. All surfaces
except the floor are absorptive. In some very large arenas of 2500,000m3 impressively low T30 around 2s have been reached though higher at 125Hz.
Apparently the reverberation time can be too short for both small and large
venues, but due to high values of rmax very low values of T30 may be preferable
for the volumes above some 100,000m3. Even more precise speaker coverage
is then necessary because there will be little reflected sound in nondirect sound
areas. For volumes below approximately 100,000m3 and audience capacity below
approximately 10,000 listeners, it appears appropriate with a somewhat airy and

Appendix A: Measurements of the 55 Venues Presented in the Gallery in Chapter 7

461

lively sound. In large arenas a colossal amount of chairs are permanently installed.
If these seats are not upholstered the presence of an audience has an enormous
impact on the reverberation time. Therefore, recommendations of acoustical measures for that type of venue could be with an occupied audience area.
The results for BR suggest that several venues have high values of T30 at 125Hz
that will represent a problem. A significant amount of the venues may also suffer
from a too-low ceiling compared to the maximum distance to a listener. Regarding
EDT/T30 a majority of the venues have a value below one. This can indicate that
early reflections are not directed towards the listeners. This may be beneficial to
avoid strong early reflections from the sound system. As mentioned earlier the reputation of how a venue sounds is not only dependent on beneficial acoustic conditions but also a sound system that suits the geometry and acoustics of the venue.
Examples of critical aspects here will be point source versus line array, direct sound
interference, directivity, and delay zones. Some European arenas taking part in this
survey consistently and independently reported how certain acts were poor soundwise, and other excellent partly because they set up their own PA systems. Other
acts were reported to refuse to hook up to preinstalled delay speakers.
Acousticians will never be in a position to ensure perfect PA coverage at every
concert inasmuch as mentioned above, that is not even in the hands of the arenas.
Acceptable range of T30 should in any case be used by the acoustician to achieve
what acoustical environment is aimed for primarily by the hall owner who is in
charge of the musical program of the venue, or to support the architects in their
design ideas for the venue.

References
N.W. Adelman-Larsen and J.J. Dammerud: A survey of reverberation times in 50
European venues presenting pop and rock concerts, Forum Acusticum, Aalborg,
Denmark (2011).
M. Barron and L.-J. Lee: Energy relations in concert auditoriums, I. J. Acoust.
Soc. Am.84 (1988) 618628.
J.J. Dammerud: Stage Acoustics for Symphony Orchestras in Concert Halls.
PhD thesis, University of Bath, England (2009).

Appendix B

Table B.1Measured objective acoustical parameters as a function of octave band


Hall Name

f [HZ]

63

125

250

500

1,000

2,000

4,000

AB

l'Aeronef

Alcatraz

Apolo

Apolo la [2]

Astra

Bikini

The Cavern Club

Le Chabada

10

Cirkus

T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB

2.33
1.5
0.87
2.96
2.85
1.69
1.48
1.25
1.18
0.9
1.24
2.43
0.83
0.51
5.71
0.87
0.56
5.4
0.37
0.6
4.03
1.17
1.21
0.02
1.33
1.27
1.09
1.63
1.07
4.4

1.66
1.43
0.72
2.07
1.71
1.24
1.38
0.95
3.76
0.93
0.87
5.34
0.71
0.6
7.04
0.84
0.76
6.14
0.48
0.76
8.1
1.26
1.58
0.23
1.05
1.1
0.18
1.4
1.09
3.01

1.43
1.47
1.11
1.46
1.56
0.07
1.36
1.44
1.09
0.94
0.91
3.87
0.71
0.7
6.17
0.98
0.84
5.78
0.53
0.49
11.34
1.19
1
3.03
0.97
0.97
2.35
1.33
1.23
3.56

1.36
1.4
1.49
1.21
1.28
3.21
1.51
1.34
0.05
0.9
0.91
3.76
0.73
0.64
6.68
0.88
0.82
5.57
0.52
0.48
13.31
1.17
0.84
4.79
0.81
0.76
4.7
1.3
1.27
3.06

1.33
1.4
1.98
1.12
1.12
3.34
1.57
1.53
0.67
1.05
1.06
2.73
0.8
0.63
7.36
0.81
0.77
6.31
0.49
0.54
12.05
1.05
0.74
5.43
0.92
0.71
5.25
1.22
1.25
3.1

1.28
1.35
2.14
1.08
1.14
3.15
1.52
1.5
1.04
1.06
1.08
2.37
0.82
0.62
7.26
0.94
0.84
5.08
0.5
0.52
12.23
0.78
0.65
6.56
0.95
0.78
5.32
1.09
1.07
3.89

1.32
1.33
2.12
0.97
1.01
4.12
1.27
1.28
1.06
0.96
0.92
3.44
0.74
0.57
8.08
0.93
0.82
5.6
0.47
0.5
12.73
0.66
0.57
7.89
0.8
0.57
7.53
0.91
0.93
5.17

(continued)

N. W. Adelman-Larsen, Rock and Pop Venues, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-45236-9,


Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

463

Appendix B

464
Table B.1(continued)
Hall Name
11 Le Confort Moderne

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

f [HZ]
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
La Cooprative de Mai T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
Debaser Medis
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
Elyse Montmartre
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
Festhalle
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
Mediolanum Forum
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
Globe Arenas
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
Grosse Freiheit
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
Kaiser Keller
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
Hallen Stadion
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
Heineken Hall
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
HMV Hammersmith
T30 [s]
Apollo
EDT [s]
C80 dB
Jyske Bank Boxen
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
Live Music Club
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
LKA Langhorn
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
Melkweg
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB

63
1.2
1.35
0.09
1.82
1.64
0.07
0.95
0.95
1.52
1
1.04
2.36
3.22
2.68
3.27
3.19
3.87
6.95
5.97
4.71
4.21
1.4
1.37
1.19
0.71
0.63
5.54
3.66
2.8
3.71
2.24
1.72
0.45
2.34
2.68
1.4
2.76
2.43
0.19
0.89
0.88
3.43
1.53
1.49
1.22
0.67
0.72
8.16

125
1.09
0.99
2.88
1.29
1.06
1.71
0.9
0.86
2.26
1.19
0.84
2.74
3.96
4.11
4.84
2.67
2.55
1.7
5.28
3.43
4.13
1.22
1.33
1.64
0.66
0.92
8.67
2.75
2.16
4.62
1.13
1.17
2.13
2.47
1.89
0.84
2.77
2.87
0.6
1.14
1
2.91
1.43
1.38
0.28
0.69
0.72
3.17

250
0.75
0.64
6.09
1.03
1
4.02
0.76
0.76
4.78
1.01
0.93
3.23
4.75
4.96
5.99
2.35
2.91
5.14
4.09
2.86
0.56
1.28
1.27
1.91
0.81
0.87
6.56
2.49
2.07
1.22
1.23
1.17
0.46
2.3
2.06
1.41
2.87
2.75
2.03
1.16
1.08
2.41
1.03
1
3.45
0.76
0.7
6.55

500
0.61
0.65
7.36
0.95
0.82
5.86
0.66
0.7
5
0.89
0.97
4.39
4.46
4.67
3.01
2.54
2.68
10.21
3.27
3.53
2.06
1.54
1.5
1.21
0.97
1.12
4.31
2.52
2.06
0.24
1.21
1.19
4.12
2.41
2.28
1.1
2.75
2.91
2.97
1.15
1.13
3.41
1.05
1.02
4.29
0.84
0.77
6.06

1,000
0.59
0.53
8.71
1.07
0.9
5.47
0.67
0.71
6.41
0.89
0.94
4.34
4.21
4.18
4.04
2.54
2.46
12.72
3.06
3.39
0.29
1.72
1.81
2.32
1.24
1.16
2.43
2.5
2.09
0.16
1.16
1.09
4
2.39
2.28
0.01
2.86
3.06
0.67
1.22
1.28
2.37
1.11
1.08
4.33
0.91
0.87
7.27

2,000
0.58
0.55
8.12
1.11
0.87
5.08
0.69
0.73
5.33
0.86
0.89
5.4
3.36
3.47
2.4
2.23
2.21
15.12
2.84
2.87
2.57
1.64
1.67
1.67
1.26
1.11
1.94
2.14
1.94
0.41
1.12
0.93
5.02
2.21
2.08
0.07
2.82
3.01
1.68
1.2
1.28
2.42
1.14
1.17
3.52
0.87
0.84
7.1

4,000
0.57
0.47
10.09
0.94
0.74
6.58
0.65
0.63
6.68
0.76
0.79
6.25
2.37
2.37
1.77
1.63
1.5
14.18
2.27
2.16
5.81
1.38
1.38
1.02
1.08
0.96
2.67
1.45
1.55
3.7
0.96
0.88
6.54
1.8
1.77
1.32
2.18
1.55
3.59
1.14
1.16
3.28
0.96
0.91
4.8
0.82
0.79
7.38

(continued)

Appendix B

465

Table B.1(continued)
Hall Name
27 MEN Arena

28

o2 World Hamburg

29

o2 World Berlin

30

o2 Arena London

31

O13 Tilburg

32

Olympia

33

Palau Sant Jordi

34

Sala Barcelona

35

Paradiso

36

Porsche Arena

37

Razzmatazz

38

Razzmatazz 2

39

Rockefeller

40

Rockhal

41

Rote Fabrik

42

Rote Fabrik 2

f [HZ]
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB

63
3.38
2.48
2.23
5.84
4.61
4.11
3.94
2.93
4.21
4.14
3.51
1.6
1.87
1.24
0.27
1.79
1.78
0.82
3.93
3.53
4.7
1.43
1.55
3.55
1.09
1
0.6
3.9
2.71
2.56
1.26
1.38
0.52
1.74
1.54
1.64
0.99
0.77
3.53
3.89
3.4
3.96
1.3
1.28
1.03
1.28
1.19
0.31

125
3.09
2.37
3.1
3.83
2.97
6.24
2.74
1.99
2.35
2.77
1.85
0.28
1.09
1.1
2.5
1.61
1.32
1.27
5.3
4.03
6.41
1.88
2.06
1.16
1.41
1.41
2.29
2.78
2.3
2.98
1.59
1.52
0.12
1.7
1.91
0
1.2
0.95
2.29
2.21
1.61
0.91
1.43
1.33
0.57
1.09
1.02
3.67

250
2.6
2.3
1.11
2.71
2.6
5.39
2.6
1.88
1.26
2.15
1.61
0.55
1
0.8
5.65
1.37
1.38
2.34
5.56
5.04
3.86
1.99
1.49
1.42
1.56
1.45
1.55
2.56
2.41
3.08
1.55
1.4
0.33
1.8
1.36
1.19
1.08
1.01
4.06
1.36
1.12
0.87
1.23
1.18
1.13
1.01
0.77
5.21

500
2.3
2.17
0.26
2.21
2.31
1.31
2.32
2.09
0.21
2.01
1.76
3.22
1.06
0.71
6.29
1.15
1.04
4.59
5.57
4.92
3.82
1.84
1.75
1.02
1.88
1.71
2.34
2.44
2.55
3.73
1.56
1.41
1.01
1.72
1.74
0.06
0.95
0.92
5.07
1.25
1.22
1.06
1.06
0.98
2.6
0.88
0.7
6.96

1,000
2.32
2.24
1.31
2.32
2.31
0.27
2.31
2.24
0.34
2
2.06
4.88
1.1
0.88
5.3
1.04
0.89
4.74
4.75
4.47
5.09
1.69
1.55
2.05
1.96
1.91
2.87
2.38
2.28
2.01
1.5
1.46
0.85
1.66
1.7
0.72
0.81
0.75
6.94
1.32
1.32
1.75
0.89
0.85
4.19
0.92
0.7
6.85

2,000
2.06
2.01
1.04
2.25
2.24
0.26
2.23
1.96
0.48
1.92
1.89
5.63
1.11
0.9
4.71
0.97
0.87
5.53
3.73
3.57
3.9
1.64
1.5
2.6
1.9
1.84
2.65
2.15
2.14
1.09
1.36
1.34
1.3
1.55
1.6
0.77
0.7
0.64
8.53
1.23
1.22
1.98
0.79
0.73
6.09
0.91
0.78
5.81

4,000
1.53
1.56
2.62
1.9
1.84
0.11
1.76
1.64
1.78
1.62
1.63
4.95
1
0.78
5.38
0.82
0.71
6.59
2.85
2.52
3.64
1.4
1.27
3.16
1.57
1.54
1.89
1.66
1.59
0.01
1.11
1.12
2.69
1.27
1.26
1.53
0.55
0.51
11.5
1.1
1.04
1.97
0.67
0.63
7.03
0.76
0.64
7.51

(continued)

Appendix B

466
Table B.1(continued)
Hall Name
43 Scala

44

Hans Martin Schleyer


Halle

45

Oslo Spektrum Arena

46

Tunnel

47

Forest National

48

Wembley Arena

49

Werk Backstage

50

Zeche

51

Zeche Carl

52

Zenith Paris

53

Zenith Strasbourg

54

Vega

55

Nosturi

f [HZ]
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB
T30 [s]
EDT [s]
C80 dB

63
1.46
1.64
0.82
2.35
3.08
1.24
2.56
2.55
0.15
0.78
0.57
6.18
4.75
4.57
2.97
4.68
4.51
4.2
1.32
1.6
1.65
1.21
1.17
2.42
1.54
1.42
3.23
1.41
1.56
1.25
3.18
3.31
2
1.6
1.52
0.22
1.34
NaN
NaN

125
1.46
1.39
0.81
2.64
2.72
5.19
1.92
1.96
0.42
0.89
0.71
6
3.95
3.33
0.57
3.66
3.06
7.39
1.42
1.44
0.93
1.32
1.51
1.17
1.2
0.92
2.27
1.84
1.83
1.82
2.52
2.29
3.31
1.17
0.97
3.01
1.02
NaN
NaN

250
1.4
1.45
0.48
2.55
2.46
1.16
1.69
1.61
0.91
0.98
0.66
5.03
3.58
2.93
1.38
2.5
2.35
6.78
1.28
1.26
0.85
1.25
1.28
1.43
0.99
0.71
5.06
1.96
1.74
2.68
2.33
2.17
1.37
1.16
0.93
4.82
0.64
NaN
NaN

500
1.51
1.44
1.77
2.27
2.13
1.75
1.59
1.75
0.55
0.97
0.79
5.93
3.68
3.81
3.43
2.08
2.21
1.56
1.23
1.34
0.84
1.13
1.12
0.87
0.79
0.67
6.22
1.69
1.53
1.43
2.17
1.94
2.21
1.15
0.98
5.92
0.54
NaN
NaN

1,000
1.54
1.51
0.91
2.49
2.59
1.3
1.53
1.6
1.57
0.93
0.83
5.72
3.45
3.6
3.58
2.38
2.42
1.44
1.51
1.66
0.52
1.01
1.03
1.57
0.77
0.58
7.71
1.75
1.69
0.69
1.76
1.72
1.51
1.23
0.98
6.27
0.54
NaN
NaN

2,000
1.49
1.46
1.43
2.21
2.23
1.9
1.33
1.37
2
0.94
0.8
5.79
2.98
3.1
3.47
2.16
2.04
0.2
1.5
1.59
1.01
0.94
0.93
2.39
0.76
0.7
6.5
1.75
1.63
1.42
1.57
1.49
3.6
1.3
0.99
4.83
0.48
NaN
NaN

4,000
1.37
1.25
2.36
1.57
1.66
0.57
1.08
1.18
2.04
0.88
0.76
6.41
2.46
2.63
2.52
1.97
1.87
0.51
1.33
1.39
0.03
0.82
0.8
3.11
0.67
0.64
6.55
1.49
1.25
3.1
1.42
1.3
5.69
1.02
0.82
5.54
0.41
NaN
NaN

Appendix C

Table C.1Averaged acoustical parameters, capacity and volumes of the measured halls
Hall Name

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26

AB
l'Aeronef
Alcatraz
Apolo
Apolo la [2]
Astra
Bikini
The Cavern Club
Le Chabada
Cirkus
Le Confort Moderne
La Cooprative de Mai
Debaser Medis
Elyse Montmartre
Festhalle
Mediolanum Forum
Globe Arenas
Grosse Freiheit
Kaiser Keller
Hallen Stadion
Heineken Hall
HMV Hammersmith
Apollo
Jyske Bank Boxen
Live Music Club
LKA Langhorn
Melkweg

Capacity
persons

Volume
m3

T30,

EDT,

C80,

1252k

1252k

1252k

BR,

[s]

[s]

dB

51k

51k

63vs0,

BR,
125vs0,

2,000
2,000
3,000
1,200
400
1,000
1,500
350
900
1,800
700
1,500
950
1,200
13,500
11,000
16,000
1,250
400
13,000
5,500
5,039

8,500
8,500
1,5000
2,800
1,000
2,800
7,000
630
2,800
10,000
1,500
9,000
2,400
6,000
110,000
150,000
6,00,000
4,200
1,200
1,20,000
50,000
2,0000

1.41
1.39
1.47
0.98
0.75
0.89
0.5
1.09
0.94
1.27
0.72
1.09
0.73
0.97
4.15
2.46
3.71
1.48
0.99
2.48
1.17
2.35

1.41
1.36
1.35
0.97
0.64
0.81
0.56
0.96
0.86
1.18
0.67
0.93
0.75
0.91
4.28
2.56
3.22
1.52
1.04
2.07
1.11
2.12

1.49
2.20
1.30
3.61
6.90
5.78
11.41
4.01
3.49
3.32
6.63
4.43
4.76
4.02
4.06
8.98
0.27
1.75
4.78
0.58
3.15
0.65

1.73
2.54
0.96
0.92
1.09
1.03
0.72
1.06
1.54
1.29
1.99
1.8
1.44
1.13
0.74
1.26
1.89
0.86
0.64
1.46
1.89
0.98

1.23
1.78
0.89
0.95
0.92
0.99
0.95
1.13
1.21
1.11
1.8
1.27
1.35
1.34
0.91
1.05
1.67
0.75
0.6
1.1
0.95
1.03

15,000
1,500
1,500
1,500

230,000
8,000
5,000
2,600

2.81
1.17
1.15
0.81

2.92
1.15
1.13
0.78

1.35
2.70
3.06
6.03

0.98
0.75
1.42
0.76

0.99
0.96
1.33
0.78

(continued)

N. W. Adelman-Larsen, Rock and Pop Venues, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-45236-9,


Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

467

Appendix C

468
Table C.1(continued)
Hall Name

27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55

MEN Arena
o2 World Hamburg
o2 World Berlin
o2 Arena London
O13 Tilburg
Olympia
Palau Sant Jordi
Sala Barcelona
Paradiso
Porsche Arena
Razzmatazz
Razzmatazz 2
Rockefeller
Rockhal
Rote Fabrik
Rote Fabrik 2
Scala
Hans Martin Schleyer
Halle
Oslo Spektrum Arena
Tunnel
Forest National
Wembley Arena
Werk Backstage
Zeche
Zeche Carl
Zenith Paris
Zenith Strasbourg
Vega
Nosturi

Capacity
persons

Volume
m3

T30,

EDT,

C80,

1252k

1252k

1252k

[s]
2.22
2.49
2.03
1.83
0.88
1.1
4.4
1.67
1.66
2.33
1.43
1.66
0.85
1.3
1.01
0.79
1.45
2.43

dB
0.40
2.69
0.65
2.69
4.89
3.69
4.62
1.65
2.34
2.58
0.54
0.52
5.38
0.95
2.92
5.70
0.89
1.10

51k

51k

1.46
2.58
1.7
2.06
1.73
1.63
0.76
0.81
0.57
1.62
0.82
1.03
1.12
3.03
1.34
1.42
0.96
0.99

1.34
1.69
1.19
1.38
1.01
1.47
1.03
1.07
0.74
1.15
1.04
1.01
1.36
1.73
1.47
1.21
0.96
1.11

1.66
0.76
3.36
2.41
1.46
1.17
0.72
1.68
1.92
0.97
NaN

0.87
5.69
2.26
3.47
0.15
0.45
5.55
0.19
0.53
4.97
NaN

1.64
0.82
1.33
2.1
0.96
1.13
1.97
0.82
1.61
1.34
2.48

1.23
0.94
1.11
1.64
1.04
1.23
1.54
1.07
1.28
0.98
1.89

21,000
16,000
17,000
20,000
2,000
2,200
17,960
4,600
1,500
6,000
1,500
700
1,350
6,500
1,200
600
650
15,500

2,50,000
5,00,000
2,80,000
400.000
7,500
13,000
400.000
48,000
6,000
50,000
8,000
2,600
5,300
58,000
5,000
1,500
2,000
270.000

[s]
2.47
2.66
2.44
2.17
1.07
1.23
4.98
1.81
1.74
2.46
1.51
1.68
0.95
1.47
1.08
0.96
1.48
2.43

9,700
400
10,000
12,000
1,500
1,100
600
6,238
12,000
1,500
900

150.000
700
150.000
150.000
5,000
2,700
1,000
90,000
130.000
5,800
3,000

1.61
0.94
3.53
2.56
1.39
1.13
0.9
1.8
2.07
1.2
0.64

BR,
63vs0,

BR,
125vs0,

Appendix D

Two Sound Engineers Statements

Ben Surman, FOH Engineer for Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield, and many others,
United States.
For me, the acoustics of a room are of primary concern for a concert, secondary only to the quality of the musicians and their instruments. Amplified music is
much harder to manage in spaces with longer reverberation times, especially at
faster tempos and with denser instrumentation. The loss of definition in the bass
frequencies really blurs the groove and feeling of music that depends on amplified
bass and drums.
Kjetil Bjreid Aab, Sound Engineer, Musician, Norway.
Here are some points on how I experience different situations, and how I relate
to them.
Make sure the stage sounds as good as possible. If the band has difficulties
playing, no one will have any fun.
Get the balance right. Perfect balance is EVERYTHING. There is no use reaching for the mixer to make your kick drum sound nice and juicy if the guitar or
vocal is too low in the mix. Not until you have perfect balance, can you start to
do anything regarding PA tuning, acoustics, EQ, and so on. Balance comes first.
Make sure the fans in front have a great experience. If the room has good acoustics and the PA is set up in a way that gives everyone a similar audio experience,
thats great. If not, the fans have dibs on the best sound.
No two concerts sound the same, nor should they. I try to take advantage of the
originality of each room I visit, and use it to color the sound on that specific day.
The important thing is that the audience is having a good time, not whether I
have the right reverb unit or not.
Small Clubs
In small clubs I try to take advantage of actually having walls close by. They
color the sound so much.
Here I feel I can push the mix harder than in bigger rooms, making the experience physical as well as audible.
N. W. Adelman-Larsen, Rock and Pop Venues, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-45236-9,
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

469

470

Appendix D: Two Sound Engineers Statements

If I have problem areas in the venue, for example, a boomy balcony, I try not to
focus on it too much, and prioritize the sound for the fans in front of the stage.
Large Venues



Often boomy with large reverbs.


I tend to mic instruments closer to get more proximity.
Separation is often the key; I give each instrument its own reverb frequency.
I try to keep the low end under control. Not many instruments should be audible
in the subs.

In nice-sounding, reverberant large rooms, such as churches, I try to soften the mix
to make it blend more with the acoustics of the room. This is, though, a little bit
genre dependent. If the tempo gets too fast, you can get quite a blurry sound.
Dry Rooms/Outdoors



I try to create the illusion of actually having a room.


I mic instruments farther away than usual. Ambient mics can be useful.
Side fills for the band.
I get the band to stand closer together to get more bleeding between the mics,
thus creating more ambience.
Outdoors I walk around in the audience quite a bit. The sound in the mixing tent
is quite different from what the audience is experiencing.
From the Musicians Point of View
For me its important that the stage feels solid and heavy.
I like it when the stage feels warm. Acoustics, temperature, lighting all contribute
to that.
Its crucial that there are no standing bass frequencies in the stage. This is
important both for monitoring and the dynamics in the music.
Often stages are overloaded with absorption of different types, and this may
lead to a really dead stage. This, in turn, makes you work harder on your
instrument than you usually would, ruining your dynamics, and you still dont
get the sensation that the sound really gets out there properly.
If I feel as if I am standing in the same room as the audience, and I can hear
what goes on outside of the stage, it is a great advantage. I get a much stronger
feel for what the audience is experiencing, and I can play off of that.